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SIERRA CLUB APPLAUDS APPOINTMENT OF JACK WARD THOMAS TO HEAD U.S. FOREST SERVICE

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sierra Club praised the appointment of Jack Ward Thomas as the new chief of the U.S. Forest Service, a move that will restore morale and rebuild scientific integrity to the beleaguered agency, the Sierra Club said.
 "Jack Ward Thomas is fair, tough, dedicated and intelligent," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. "This appointment signals that forest management will now be conducted in a science-based manner on behalf of all Americans."
 A 27-year veteran of the service, Thomas brings experience and familiarity with an agency that has come under criticism for favoritism towards the timber industry. "There are probably thousands of committed people at the service that are thrilled with this appointment," said Rick Johnson, Northwest representative of the Sierra Club. "This is a message that tenacity, integrity and commitment to sound science will be rewarded at the Service."
 Thomas, one of the Forest Service's preeminent biologists, was responsible for the initial report which pointed to the decline of the northern spotted owl and recently lead President Clinton's Forest Ecosystem Assessment Management Team which produced the recently released ancient forest plan.
 While the Sierra Club believes that the plan fails to adequately protect the ancient forest, Thomas' appointment is viewed as a positive influence in raising the level of debate on the future of the forests. "We may not always agree with Mr. Thomas, but we know that our disagreements will be based on questions of science and policy rather than semantics and politics," said Pope.
 -0- 11/17/93
 /CONTACT: Roni Lieberman, 202-675-7903, Rick Johnson, 206-621-1696, or Darryl Young, 415-923-5526, all of the Sierra Club/


CO: Sierra Club; U.S. Forest Service ST: District of Columbia IN: ENV PAP SU: PER EXE

KD-DC -- DC026 -- 5645 11/17/93 15:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993
Words:300
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