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Bedfellows

The Alabama-based environmental law firm Wildlaw has just announced the hiring of Mark Rey as a part-time lobbyist to work on national forest restoration projects in the Southeast and to help with land acquisition efforts.

Here's a little backstory. Wildlaw is headed by an attorney named Ray Vaughan, and it has done much good work in the Southeast defending national forests and scarce species and waterways and other resources. Mark Rey was the Under Secretary of Agriculture overseeing the national forests under George W. Bush, and a more reviled figure among environmental activists would be hard to find.

The wily Mr. Rey was the architect of the Bush administration's forest policies including the attempts to undermine and then replace the Roadless Rule. The replacement rule involved creation of an advisory committee, which consisted of 13 members representing the logging, mining, skiing, and off-road vehicle industries, plus several from the environmental community.

Ray Vaughan was a member, representing Wildlaw and environmental concerns in the Southeast. Mark Rey appointed him to the committee, now Ray has hired Mark to lobby for him. Curiouser and curiouser. There's no question that Mr. Rey is a skillful operator. We'll have to see what happens.

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