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Jan 16, 2004 - 01:50 PM


by Jerry Flanagan
When Schwarzenegger promised to clear up politics as usual in Sacramento, environmentalists couldn't imagine that meant appointing lumber industry lobbyists intent on clear cutting the state's forests.

AW tipsters tell us that Melinda Terry, a lobbyist for the California Forestry Association, is now on the short list to be the new Legislative Director for the California Resources Agency. One of Terry's cohorts is already #2 at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Pacific Lumber's former Director of External Relations, James Branham, was appointed by the Gov as undersecretary.

Terry lobbied against a law enacted last year, SB 810 (Burton), that will now allow local water boards to review timber industry logging plans to determine their impact on water quality. Environmentalists expect the industry is attempting an end-run around the new law by infiltrating CAL EPA and the Resources Agency -- the two government entities responsible for oversight of the local water boards and logging interests.

Another logging-related policy showdown is in the works. The Bush Administration has said that it plans to support a weakening of the Sierra Framework -- policies that govern logging in the Sierra Nevada forests. Schwarzenegger's administration has said it will oppose weakening of the plan but environmental leaders are concerned that Branham's appointment and the possible appointment of Terry to Resources Agency is a sign that Arnold plans to go back on his word.

What is the sound of another broken Schwarzenegger campaign promise? "Timber!"

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