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Bush Admin Vs. Yellowstone NP
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Jun 25, 2003, 10:57 PM
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Bush Admin Vs. Yellowstone NP
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excerpts from an article in tomorrow's LA Times:

WASHINGTON The Bush administration, citing a report by Yellowstone National Park's professional staff, is asking a United Nations committee to remove the park from a list of World Heritage sites that are "in danger" of losing their grandeur.

But there is one hitch: The professional staff appears to disagree with the administration's assessment that the government is addressing all the problems that put Yellowstone on the endangered list in 1995.

The final report sent to the international committee by the Bush administration had toned down or deleted these concerns. Copies of both reports were provided to the Los Angeles Times by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a regional conservation group.

Critics of the administration said its editing of the Yellowstone report resembled a recent White House effort to water down the global warming section of a report on the nation's environment. That report was released Monday with only a brief mention of global warming because outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman considered the administration's edited version unacceptable.

"Tinkering with scientific information, either striking it from reports or altering it, is becoming a pattern of behavior," said Roger G. Kennedy, a former director of the National Park Service. "It represents the politicizing of a scientific process, which at once manifests a disdain for professional scientists working for our government and a willingness to be less than candid with the American people."

The Bush administration canceled a Clinton administration policy that would have phased out snowmobiles from Yellowstone this year. The Bush administration's plan caps the number of snowmobiles allowed, but at a level higher than currently visit the park.

The administration decided to expand snowmobile use despite findings by the National Park Service that the vehicles cause environmental and health damage.

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