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NATION : Controversial Bush Nominee for Environment Post Gives Up Fight

<i> From Times wire services </i>

James Cason, turned away by the Senate for a top environmental job in the Bush Administration, asked the White House today to withdraw his nomination.

The action effectively ends an 8-month battle between President Bush and environmentalists over the controversial nominee for assistant secretary of agriculture for natural resources and the environment.

“Withdrawal of this nomination is a great disappointment,” said Agriculture Secretary Clayton K. Yeutter, who announced Cason’s request. “The lobbying effort against him was both misguided and unfair.”

Cason was opposed by the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Wilderness Society, League of Conservation Voters and National Audubon Society. The groups alleged that Cason’s record in several top Interior Department positions during the Reagan Administration showed favoritism toward private development of public lands, despite environmental concerns.

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