A government watchdog group says a slew of recent court rulings against the U.S. Forest Service show that the agency isn’t doing its job. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:
A government watchdog group says a slew of recent court rulings
U.S. Forest Service show that the agency isn’t doing its job.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:
The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility – or
PEER – cites 44 cases over the last two years in which the Forest Service violated
environmental laws it’s supposed to enforce. PEER cites an internal Forest Service memo. It details instances in which the agency had to pay attorney fees to environmental groups that
successfully sued over issues like illegal logging and over-grazing on forest lands.
Jeff Ruch is the executive director of PEER. He says during the
Administration, there were only a handful of adverse rulings each year.
“And they’re now losing these cases at a greater rate than two a month. So
roughly every 10 days, the Forest Service is found guilty of violating a law
they’re supposed to be implementing, in a federal court.”
But a spokeswoman for the Forest Service says a closer look at the
shows a different picture. She says almost half the cases cited by PEER were
based on decisions the Forest Service made prior to President Bush taking
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Sarah Hulett.
A new report backs up contentions that a law protecting federal whistle-blowers is not working. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
A new report backs up contentions that a law protecting federal
whistle-blowers is not working. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s
Lester Graham reports:
The organization, PEER, Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility, is calling the 15-year-old Whistle-blower Protection Act a
“failure.” The law is supposed to protect government workers who expose misdeeds. PEER
says over the years the Act has faced several challenges and now
complaints filed face long delays. Jeff Ruch is PEER’s Executive Director.
“When employees are reporting wrongdoing, nothing’s happening to
their reports. It’s like dialing 911 and being put on hold.”
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel handles the whistle-blower cases,
but a Congressional report found there’s a huge backlog. The office blames
it on staff shortages. But the report says the Office of Special Counsel has
no real strategy to reduce that backlog of cases. The Special Counsel did
recently reduce some of the backlog… by simply dismissing the cases. The
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has cried ‘foul.’
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.
While millions of school kids are returning to classes, the retailers of the nation are counting up the profits from the back-to-school buying frenzy. But as Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Suzanne Elston points out, maybe the need to have everything new for the start of school year is one lesson we don’t want to teach our children: