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The Planet

Chainsaw Charlie's Ugly Handiwork

Forest activists in the region agree that the salvage logging rider that President Clinton signed into law this summer along with a budget rescissions bill poses an unprecedented threat to the Southern Appalachian Highlands' national forestlands. The rider was, in fact, initiated by North Carolina Republican Rep. Charles Taylor -- whom locals have dubbed "Chainsaw Charlie" and, alter- natively, "Timber Taylor."

"That rider has put fear in the hearts of those who love the forests of Southern Appalachia," said Joan Willey, regional representative in the Sierra Club's Appalachian field office.

Many national forests in the region are already targeted for salvage logging sales -- some of which may punch new roads through precious roadless areas. In addition to allowing timber companies to sidestep environmental laws, the rider limits the ability of the public to appeal environmentally damaging logging activities in court.

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