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For Immediate Release: Feb 15, 2002
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

MCINNIS ECO-TERRORISM HEARING DIVERTS ATTENTION FROM REAL PROBLEMS

Gloria Flora Testifies


Gloria Flora a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service who has handled some of the agencies toughest assignments, is testifying at today's hearing.

    Flora made a landmark decision to prohibit oil and gas leasing from the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana as Supervisor of the Lewis & Clark National Forest.
    As Supervisor of Nevada's Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, the largest in the lower forty-eight states, she confronted the Sage Brush Rebellion and County Supremacy movements. In late 1999, she resigned from her position as Supervisor to call national attention to the persistent "Fed-bashing" by Nevada officials.

· The hearing diverts attention away from the true causes of lawlessness on public lands - growing tensions over diminishing resources, degraded landscapes and changing economies.

· If you ask Forest Service employees to rank the problems they must confront daily, "eco-terrorism" would not even make the chart.

· To spread their message and inflate their importance, "eco-terrorism" groups must command a prominent public stage. This subcommittee hearing is aiding these so-called eco-terrorists by giving them the United States Congress as a forum.

· Rep. McInnis's thinly disguised agenda is to equate environmentalists with "eco-terrorists."

· The real terror comes when "fed-bashing" is condoned and encouraged by elected officials. Rep. McInnis has engaged in precisely the sort of rhetoric that engenders harassment and abuse of hard-working public servants trying to do difficult jobs.

Attacks aimed at U.S. Forest Service employees and facilities rose by more than 20% in 2000, the latest year for which we have statistics. Incidents at the Fish & Wildlife Service rose by half, while incidents at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rose by a third. For all three agencies combined, serious incidents rose by nearly a third in 2000.