I found this to be an interesting blog post from Bob Berwin (thanks, Bob!), because, if true, it appears that we actually have a few more branches of government than the Founders intended. We know from Jack Ward Thomas’s Journal that DOJ can have its own policy agenda, which can be different from that of the agencies of the administration. Hopefully, there is some kind of higher-level conflict resolution at some point- but we don’t really know that, do we?
Now we have OMB, and here’s a quote from Bob’s post:
The letter was signed by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Mark Udall, D-Colo., and James Risch, R-Idaho. The lawmakers cited recent figures showing that the Forest Service has cut back on programs to reduce fire risks in areas where homes and the wilderness collide. The U.S. Forest Service treated 1.87 million acres of those lands in 2012, but expects to treat only 685,000 acres next year, out of millions of acres that need treatment.
“Our understanding is that these cuts were based on OMB’s continued skepticism about the efficacy of hazardous fuels treatments. We whole-heartedly disagree with OMB on this point,” the senators wrote.
Well, given the President’s efforts with regard to transparency in government, I think it is only reasonable to ask for OMB to document the reasons for its skepticism in a public forum, complete with citations and logic paths. If they don’t have the technical capacity due to the many lawyers of security, I would volunteer this blog for the discussion to take place.
For those of you who haven’t been following this, this study was specifically is directed to answer that question.
There are a variety of other interesting papers from the Ecological Research Institute here.