October 23, 2007

Death of a thousand cuts...

Thanks to Michelle:

GAO Forest-Thinning Study Sparks New Controversy
Written By: James M. Taylor
Published In: Environment News
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

Supporters of President George W. Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative have a new study to cite as proof reforms are needed in the federal government’s forest management effort. Opponents of the President’s plan disagree, saying the study proves current procedures are working.

The study, released by the General Accounting Office (GAO) on May 15, found most federal forest-thinning proposals subject to third-party comment were appealed by environmental activists.

The GAO examined 762 U.S. Forest Service (USFS) proposals to thin forests and prevent fires during the past two years. According to the study, slightly more than half the proposals were not subject to third-party appeal. Of those proposals subject to appeal, third parties challenged 59 percent.

Appeals were filed most often by anti-logging groups, including the Sierra Club, Alliance for Wild Rockies, and Forest Conservation Council. According to the GAO, 84 interest groups filed more than 400 appeals of Forest Service proposals. The appeals delayed efforts to treat 900,000 acres of forests and cost the federal government millions of dollars to address.

Forest Service officials estimate they spend nearly half their time, and $250 million each year, preparing for the appeals and procedural challenges launched by activists......
Posted by John Weidner at October 23, 2007 3:13 PM
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