Documents Show Timber Industry Driving White House Actions

Documents pried loose through Freedom of Information Act


Patti Goldman, Earthjustice, (206) 343-7340, ext. 32
Kristen Boyles, Earthjustice, (206) 343-7340, ext. 33

Documents released on April 18, 2003, in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of Biodiversity Northwest, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Oregon Natural Resources Council reveal an aggressive timber industry campaign to increase the amount of timber cut from Northwest federal forests by weakening protections for salmon, clean water, and old-growth forest ecosystems. The Bush administration has not only agreed to all of industry’s demands, it has also proceeded in precisely the way advocated by the industry: (1) it has agreed to sweeping changes in forest management in secret settlements of friendly industry lawsuits; (2) it has agreed to changes in the management of aquatic resources in order to undo court rulings that require greater protection; and (3) it has appointed Mark Rutzick, the lead attorney for the timber industry in the litigation and settlement negotiations, as a senior adviser to the general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with responsibility for Pacific salmon protected under the Endangered Species Act. In short, the timber industry has directed a major rewrite of the rules and has the people in place to continue down this path.

Related Documents

Overview of Industry Negotiated Northwest Forest Plan Changes

Administrative Tools to Fix the Northwest Forest Plan

Industry’s Global Framework [NOTE: 2.5 MB document]

Government Response to Timber Industry Proposals

Timber Industry Response to Settlement

O&C Lands Settlement Agreement

Additional Resources

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.