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The Planet

That's Organic

Organic PanicNew rules for the National Organic Program went into effect in February. In response to an outcry by the Sierra Club and others - the U.S. Department of Agriculture received 275,603 public comments - the new standards establish clear organic labeling criteria, and specifically prohibit the use of genetic-engineering methods, ionizing radiation and sewage sludge for fertilization. These rules are among others being reconsidered by the Bush administration. Read the organic standards.

Nip It in the Bud

The Sierra Club and other members of a coalition sued the Federal Highway Administration and Army Corps of Engineers on Jan. 17 for the agencies' approval of the 14-mile Legacy Parkway in Utah's Davis County. The stretch is part of the larger Legacy Highway plan. The Environmental Protection Agency considered halting the project over concerns it will destroy 114 acres of wetlands, but announced Jan. 4 it would not veto the road.

Twice the Wilderness

Black Rock Desert/High Rock CanyonAn article in the Sept. 2000 issue of The Planet asked readers to write their senators in support of S. 2273, which would designate as wilderness the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Canyon areas of Nevada. The bill passed in the last days of the 106th Congress and was signed by President Clinton, nearly doubling wilderness in the state. It was the largest wilderness bill to be passed by Congress since the California Desert Protection Act in 1994.

Photo (top) courtesy Bill Tarpenning/USDA, (bottom) John Walin

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