LOS ANGELES -- The Bush administration appears ready to push through a change in Forest Service agreements that would make it far easier for mountain forests to be converted to housing subdivisions.
Mark Rey, the former timber lobbyist who heads the Forest Service, last week signaled his intent to formalize the controversial change before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.
As a candidate, Obama campaigned against the measure in Montana, where local governments complained of being blindsided when Rey negotiated the policy shift behind closed doors with the nation's largest private landowner.
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