Critics of proposed new guidelines for protecting clean water and wildlife on nearly 200 million acres of national forests say the Obama administration has gone against the president's pledge to let science be the guide.
Speaking from Washington, D.C., on Monday, two former Clinton administration officials said the U.S. Forest Service needs to strengthen the proposed new national forest planning rule.
Former deputy chief of the Forest Service Jim Furnish says the rule requires taking science into account but gives managers the option to ignore it.
There was no immediate comment from the Obama administration. Earlier this year Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he wanted to break through the logjam of political conflict over forest management by using science to do what is best for the forests.
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