When the Forest Service announced last year that it would write a new policy regulating bear baiting, environmentalists and animal rights advocates were hopeful. They thought the agency might take a hard look at the controversial practice of laying out rotting foods to attract bears within shooting distance. But the new policy, announced March 17, continues the Forest Service's practice of letting states regulate bear baiting on national forest. It also means bear baiting can resume on the national forests of Wyoming, where a series of lawsuits forced the Forest Service to ban the practice pending a new national policy (HCN, 12/12/94). Opponents blasted the new rules. "It is obvious that the actual purpose of the policy is to remove the Forest Service from the controversy over baiting and to exempt the practice of baiting from any review under federal environmental laws," said Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States in a letter to Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas. For a copy of the new policy, contact Alan Polk of the Forest Service at 202/205-1134.