New Forest Rules Issued Dec 23, 2004
2 Jan 2005
...just in time to be totally ignored by the media in general. Nice timing. To quote Sally Collins, associate chief of the U.S. Forest Service "the changes will replace a bureaucratic planning process with a more corporate management approach."
Basically the rule puts economic activity on par with conservation and removes public comment from the forest planning process. Now, I'm the first to admit that our forests were set aside to be tree farms, but overwhelming citizen comment over the years has made clear that most people want the forests to be healthy ecosystems open to public recreational opportunities. Turning their backs on voters is exactly what this administration has always done, but this whole rule is really more of a slap in the face to the owners of these forests...us.
The only hope for this is if the recreation industry, having a lot more cash/influence in Congress than the paper industry that drafted this rule, realizes that the whole reason they have tourists sleeping in their motels & eating their food is that the scenery is beautiful and not ravaged by logging equipment. Another example of how you spend your dollars is going have more influence than your vote.
National Forest Management Act/ Planning site »