Bush sneaks up on our national heritage

By LUNELL HAUGHT, vice president of REP’s Washington State Chapter

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the editor of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, January 3, 2004


I thought the recent heightened alert status was for an external holiday threat. The threat is actually internal.

America’s heritage is threatened. While we focused on holidays, the Bush administration focused on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. By not enforcing the National Forest Service’s roadless rule, clear-cutting will be allowed in more than 300,000 acres of our remaining ancient forest, another 2.5 million acres will be damaged.

Our heritage includes:

  • The rule of law. The roadless rule was created after tremendous citizen input. Ignoring it puts one industry’s interest above public interest and the rule-making process itself.
  • Public information and disclosure. We taxpayers don’t even know the tab for subsidizing road building for commercial logging interests.
  • Access to legal procedures. The administration eliminated the public’s right to influence public land decisions.
  • America the beautiful… nature. This is one of the last intact coastal temperate rain forests in the world. We must be smart enough to figure out another way to improve the economy in Alaska


Our heritage didn’t come cheap. American soldiers on foreign soil are protecting it. Out of respect for them, and ourselves, let’s stay on alert, watch what’s sneaking around the back door as well as the front, and respond when threatened.