Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Environmental President...
Bush Team Pushes Huge Timber Sale Under Guise of Fire Protection
Under the guise of preventing forest fires, the Bush administration is planning the biggest timber sale on public lands in modern history. The Biscuit Project would allow logging of 372 million board feet of timber across 30 square miles of southwest Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest—enough timber to fill 70,000 logging trucks. The logging would be done on wildlands of uncommon beauty and ecological diversity, far from any community that could be damaged in a fire.

"It's the biggest logging sale since World War II," says Steve Holmer, communications director with the Unified Forest Defense Campaign, a coalition of national and regional conservation organizations. "Timber companies have made huge contributions to the Bush campaign. This project is political payback."

Holmer tells BushGreenwatch that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) initially proposed a much smaller project. "When the Forest Service first started looking at the area, they planned maybe a 100 million board feet sale." That changed once Mark Rey, formerly a top lobbyist for the timber industry who is now the administration's undersecretary for natural resources and environment in the Department of Agriculture, began to work on the sale.

And par for the course...
Forest Service delays release of fire salvage project records