Saturday, August 30, 2003

Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus at Harvard, in his piece "Bush's Forest Plan Worse Than Fire", labels this summer's savage fires "the ecologist's equivalent of a perfect storm". Says Professor Wilson:

The best way to avoid these catastrophic fires is by trimming undergrowth and clearing debris, combined with natural burns of the kind that have sustained healthy forests in past millennia. Those procedures, guided by science and surgically precise forestry, can return forests to near their equilibrium condition, in which only minimal further intervention would be needed.

On the other hand, the worst way to create healthy forests is to thin trees via increased logging, as proposed by the Bush administration.

Wilson goes on to say:

America's national forests are a public trust of incalculable value. They should be freed from commercial logging altogether. The time has come to free them from political partisanship and use their treasures to benefit all Americans, now and for generations to come.

No word from the good professor about the mismanagement of our forests. No word about the economic and ecologic devastation caused by these fires. Perhaps we need a surgically precise "perfect storm" in the Harvard area, eh professor?
Montana environmental groups vow to oppose all salvage logging and the Healthy Forests Initiative:

"We think salvage logging impedes the recovery of these burned areas," said Jake Kreilick, executive director of the National Forest Protection Alliance. "We are opposed to salvage logging."

And Ag Undersecretary Mark Rey responds:

"I suppose these folks will appeal and litigate projects enough so some of the work needed to be done will in fact be stopped," Rey said. "And those moonscapes will stand as a monument to that idiocy."

For the entire article go here.
In "The Costs of Turning America Green" Henry Lamb takes on the New York Times and the environmental community:

The tragic fires that destroy far more forests and wildlife than the "greedy" loggers are the direct result of the "save-the-old-growth" garbage spouted by environmentalists. The rising costs of energy, as well as the increasing unreliability, are the direct result of environmental policies that block the use of domestic oil, gas and coal. The skyrocketing property-tax rates are the direct result of the environmental agenda that demands government ownership of all remaining open space. The staggering escalation of housing costs is the direct result of environmental policies that limit the availability of building sites.