The Politics of Timber Theft in America
Forest crime is rampant worldwide. Illegal and ill-conceived harvest of dwindling natural habitats decimates species, ecosystems and human potential. One would think that the United States would have the resources and management structures to combat forest crime. However, it is estimated that annually more than 10% of all trees cut in America's national forests are stolen, hundreds of thousands of trees valued at more than $100 million. Most of this illegal harvest is done by timber companies deliberately logging outside of timber sale boundaries, or cutting live trees during post-fire salvage logging. Yet the U.S. Forest Service, and both the Clinton and Bush Administrations, have consistently sought to cover up the extent of the problem, stonewalling policies to properly police political cronies such as Weyerhaeuser. America's ecological sustainability is being devastated as big resource companies run American government and hence run roughshod over most of the World's ecosystems and peoples. Planetary survival depends upon stopping this resource driven growth machine and embracing an era of ecological restoration and conservation.