Here’s the link and here’s what is says about the planning rule:
The other piece of news is more complicated. Last month, the Agriculture Department proposed long-awaited forest-planning rules. The rules, mandated by 1976 National Forest Management Act, are supposed to guide forest managers as they decide which parts can be logged and which should be fully protected.
The act’s bedrock principle is that the health of the forests and their wildlife is to be valued at least as much as the interests of the timber companies. The Clinton administration’s rules firmly embraced that principle; the industry-friendly Bush rules did not.
The Obama administration’s proposed rules improve on the Bush rules and are full of high-minded promises about maintaining “viable” animal populations. But they are disappointingly vague on the question of how — and how often — the biological diversity of any particular forest is to be measured and what actions are to be taken to ensure its survival.
The net result is to give too much discretion to individual forest managers and not nearly enough say to scientists. This is dangerous because, over the years, forest managers have been easily influenced by timber companies and local politicians whose main interest is to increase the timber harvest.
As secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack has been more attentive to the needs of the forest, so far, than any agriculture secretary since the Clinton days. He should make sure these rules are strengthened.
When we had the law students visit earlier this week, they also talked about “industry,” and I asked them who do they mean? The ski industry, the oil and gas industry, the ranching “industry” (not sure anyone uses that expression, but..). Is there anything they are all united on? Do they actually work together to “open up” NFs to all uses? No.
Earth to NY Times editors- timber wars are over! They need to find new evil empire or federation of empires. Timber industry folks just aren’t very scary- see this press release about the Montrose mill.
Of course, my favorite part of this editorial was this quote
“The net result is to give too much discretion to individual forest managers and not nearly enough say to scientists. This is dangerous because, over the years, forest managers have been easily influenced by timber companies and local politicians whose main interest is to increase the timber harvest.”
Now, if we were on this side of the Hudson looking in that direction, we might suggest that the NY State Legislature, or perhaps the Mayor of New York could also be replaced by scientists. Because, after all, their “local” elected officials can be too easily influenced by industries of various kinds, instead of listening to those who know better, perhaps the editors at the Denver Post ;)?