Bush Intensifies War on Forests, Scientific Truth Be Damned
In a last minute effort to hand out forests to cronies before his term ends, the Bush administration has proposed eliminating protections from 1.5 million acres from Northwest forests considered critical to the survival of the northern spotted owl [search]. This will reopen the 1990s battle between timber production and wildlife habitat on public lands, and there is little reason to believe that this is scientifically justified in terms of owl habitat and forest health. This comes as the scientific basis for Bush's languishing “Healthy Forests” [search] policy of logging and replanting burned forests [more] rather than allowing them to regenerate naturally has been shown definitively to be bad science. An important new study has found that subsequent fire severity is much worse in logged and planted areas, compared to those that had burned severely and were left alone in an earlier fire. There appears to be no ecological truth (or for that matter truth of any kind) that the Bush Administration is unable to spin, twist or outright lie about. How did this man come to be trusted with the Earth's climate and America's forests? Let's hope the planet can survive another year and a half of what will certainly be renewed last minute assaults upon life giving ecosystems.