Monday, July 12, 2004

The Trees Don't Like This

The Bush administration is passing the control of Federal forests to state governors! The specific case has to do with whether roads should be built to remote forest areas to help with logging them:

Under the proposal, governors would have to petition the federal government to block road-building in remote areas of national forests. Allowing roads to be built would open the areas to logging.
The rule replaces one adopted by the Clinton administration and still under challenge in federal court. It covers about 58 million of the 191 million acres of national forest nationwide.
The Bush administration heralded the plan as an end to the legal uncertainty overshadowing tens of millions of acres of America's backcountry.
"Our actions today advance the Bush administration's commitment to cooperatively conserving roadless areas," Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said in announcing the plan in the Idaho Capitol Rotunda.

'Cooperative conserving roadless areas'? I asked a friendly pine tree what she or he (I could never figure the right pronoun for trees) thought about this new adventure into environmentalism, and all I got as an answer was a silent scream so blood-chilling that I couldn't move for several minutes. So the trees and I are opposed to this proposal, and so should you.

Why? This is why:

Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, called the administration proposal the biggest giveaway to the timber industry in history, arguing that many western states would likely press for development to help struggling rural economies.
"The idea that many governors would want to jump head first into the political snake pit of managing the national forests in their states is laughable," he said. "Besides, the timber industry has invested heavily for years in the campaigns of governors with the largest national and state forests, giving almost equally to Republicans and Democrats."

Look, either we want to have some undisturbed nature left or we don't. It's that simple. If we decide we don't want any, then we better work quickly to find another planet that we can go and savage next as this one will not endure us very much longer, and when earth has had enough of our incessant desire to turn perfectly good trees into umbrella stands, guess what will happen? It has something in common with what happens when you put a plastic bag over your head.
And no, I'm not a treehugger, whatever that particular sexual act might involve. I just like to breathe and to have shade in the heat of summer.