SAF member and SUNY ESF professor Bob Malmsheimer testified before House Subcommittee about litigation’s impacts on managing fire-prone forests – http://goo.gl/JiQX18
Between 1989 and 2008, 1,125 lawsuits were filed challenging Forest Service land management decisions.
SAF members Chris Topik (The Nature Conservancy) and Dale Bosworth (former US Forest Service Chief) also testified.
Additional information about the hearing is available at http://goo.gl/9zCYok.
Hanvelt, in his written testimony, elaborated that even if lawsuits based on the National Environmental Policy Act or other laws ultimately fail, forest projects “can be stopped or at least delayed indefinitely while additional analyses are completed.”
The subcommittee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts, countered the hearing’s GOP-dominated theme by stressing that “bedrock environmental laws are making sure our public voice is heard” in the management of federal lands.
Between 1989 and 2008, according to a study presented Thursday, 1,125 lawsuits were filed challenging Forest Service land management decisions. The agency settled about one-quarter of the cases and won nearly 54 percent of them, study co-author Robert W. Malmsheimer testified.
More than 40 percent of the cases challenged the Forest Service’s “vegetative management” decisions, meaning logging and salvage programs, and these were also the lawsuits the agency was “most likely to settle,” the analysts found.
“Legal factors are now as important as biological factors and economic factors in the management of our national forests,” said Malmsheimer, a professor at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
During the last Congress, McClintock wrote a bill to speed the salvage logging from forests damaged during the Yosemite Rim fire. The measure passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on a largely party line vote but did not advance in the Senate.
Sharon’s observation: I would argue that the public’s voice is not being heard when cases are settled in a room with attorneys ;), And don’t county commissioners represent the public? I think it’s sad that something that people can agree on (in Colorado), they can’t in D.C., where arguably the stakes for public policy are higher.
In fact, I’m looking for a liberal/conservative equivalent of a “coexist” bumper sticker for religions.. if anyone knows where I can find one, please let me know.