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COMMERCIAL LOGGING CAUSED WILDFIRES:Bush & Repub. Party "con job"

The biggest ecological con job in years is being waged by the U.S. Republican party and their timber industry cronies. They are blaming the recent Western wildfires on environmentalists, and assuring the public that commercial logging will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. Below are three excellent rebuttals of these lies, which I will quote from and paraphrase here.
COMMERCIAL LOGGING CAUSED WILDFIRES:Bush & Repub. Party "con job"
COMMERCIAL LOGGING CAUSED WILDFIRES:Bush & Repub. Party "con job"
a quote from Bush DUBYA Corlione HIMSELF recently:

"
RUCH, Ore. (AP) - President Bush, on a mountain peak blighted by wildfire, crumbled the dead black bark of a Douglas fir in his palm and challenged environmentalist critics of his new forest initiatives: "Come and stand where I stand."
"

AS WE KNEW, BUSH, THE NATION'S ALPHA MALE MAFIA LORD,
IS TOTALLY FULL OF SH*T.


I WISH SOME REPORTER WOULD SAY, 'LOOK, YOU ARE A REPEAT LIAR.'



COMMERCIAL LOGGING CAUSED WILDFIRES:Bush & Repub. Party "con job" blames enviros
 http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=193624&group=webcast

same article below:


The biggest ecological con job in years is being waged by the U.S. Republican party and their timber industry cronies. They are blaming the recent Western wildfires on environmentalists, and assuring the public that commercial logging will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

Below are three excellent rebuttals of these lies, which I will quote from and paraphrase here. "Scores of scientists and the federal government's own national fire plan have concluded that the removal of mature trees from forests increases the severity of forest fires. Why then would the Bush administration use the threat of fires to try to increase logging of mature and old-growth trees in our national forests?

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FOREST CONSERVATION NEWS TODAY
Commercial Logging Causes Forest Fires
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Forest Networking a Project of Forests.org, Inc.
 http://forests.org/ -- Forest Conservation Portal
 http://www.EnvironmentalSustainability.info/ -- Eco-Portal

July 20, 2002
OVERVIEW & COMMENTARY by Forests.org

The biggest ecological con job in years is being waged by the U.S.
Republican party and their timber industry cronies. They are blaming the
recent Western wildfires on environmentalists, and assuring the public
that commercial logging will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
Below are three excellent rebuttals of these lies, which I will quote from
and paraphrase here. "Scores of scientists and the federal government's
own national fire plan have concluded that the removal of mature trees
from forests increases the severity of forest fires. Why then would the
Bush administration use the threat of fires to try to increase logging of
mature and old-growth trees in our national forests?"

It is well known scientifically that "commercial logging actually
increases fire severity by removing large, fire- resistant trees and
leaving behind very small trees and flammable "slash debris"--branches,
twigs and needles from felled trees. The removal of mature trees also
decreases the forest canopy, creating hotter, drier conditions on the
ground. The additional sun exposure encourages the growth of flammable
brush and weeds. Reduction of flammable underbrush can reduce fire
severity, and environmental groups have encouraged such projects. However,
the Bush administration has grossly misused the funds that Congress
appropriated for brush reduction near homes. In Sierra Nevada national
forests last year, more than 90% of these funds were instead earmarked for
preparation of large timber sales focused on the removal of mature and
old-growth trees miles from the nearest town."

"The Forest Service, Bush administration and anti-environmental members of
Congress are spreading a great deal of misinformation about wildfire,
hoping to capitalize on public fire hysteria and minimize public
opposition to increased logging and roadbuilding in our national forests,"
said Jake Kreilick of the National Forest Protection Alliance based in
Missoula, Montana. "With virtually all new timber sales couched in terms
of 'reducing fuels' or 'restoring forest health,' fire hysteria has
emerged as the driving force behind the Forest Service's logging program
and the administration's efforts to 'streamline' our nation's
environmental laws," Kreilick said.

"For years, conservation organizations have been pressuring the Forest
Service to focus its efforts on protection of communities through the use
of both prescribed burning and reduction of underbrush, rather than
continuing to log our remaining old growth trees in remote wildlands,"
said Brian Segee with the Center for Biological Diversity in Arizona.
"Far from being a right-wing poster child for environmentalism gone bad,
the Rodeo-Chediski fire shows just how ferociously fires can burn through
land that had been badly hammered by the logging industry and the U.S.
Forest Service." he said.

Forests.org is proud to be part of the coalition that supports fuel
reduction and fire protection directly adjacent to homes and communities
instead of commercial logging or aggressive fire suppression in remote
wildlands. Such an approach is based upon sound ecological science and
not political opportunism. The Bush Presidency is an environmental
nightmare. The single greatest protection against decades of ever
increasing wildfires would be for the Bush administration to develop a
real climate change policy that dramatically reduces emissions of
greenhouse gases.
g.b.

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RELAYED TEXT STARTS HERE:

ITEM #1
Title: Green Groups Urge Fire Fuel Reduction, Not Logging
Source: Copyright 2002, Environment News Service,
 http://ens.lycos.com/index.html
Date: July 19, 2002

WASHINGTON, DC, July 19, 2002 (ENS) - To clarify their positions
concerning wildfire management on national forest lands, American
conservation groups presented a letter to the U.S. Forest Service on
Thursday. The groups say recent media reports and statements by federal
and state officials have mistakenly characterized the environmental
community as opposing most fire management strategies.

In total, 148 conservation groups signed the letter sent to Forest Service
Chief Dale Bosworth, outlining the conservation community's position on
wildfires, home protection and fuel reduction projects.
"In recent weeks, some politicians and some U.S. Forest Service officials
have repeatedly misrepresented the conservation community's position" on
these issues, the conservation groups explain in the letter.

In the letter - which was also sent to every member of Congress and the
Western Governors Association - the conservation groups make it clear they
have always supported "common sense approaches designed to effectively
protect homes and communities from fire."

As the groups explain, in addition to advocating that Congress "increase
funding for community protection and fire education," the conservation
community has "taken a leading role in educating homeowners about the
importance of treating flammable material adjacent to homes and
communities."

"Unfortunately, the Forest Service has chosen to focus their priorities
largely on commercial logging projects far removed from communities, not
on effectively protecting communities," the letter explains.

"[W]hat we are finding 'on the ground' is that National Fire Plan funds
have been misused by the Forest Service to promote commercial logging,
have not been targeted towards the highest risk areas, and have failed to
effectively protect homes and communities from fires."

So far this year, almost 50,000 wildfires have burned 3,546,965 acres of
public and private land across the nation, with the largest fires
concentrated in the drought stricken western states. Some federal and
state officials have blamed the large number of devastating fires - almost
three times the 10 year annual average acreage burned - on litigation by
environmental groups.

Critics charge these lawsuits have blocked fuel reduction projects on
federal lands.

But conservation groups say they support most methods of fuel reduction
and fire risk management, opposing only those projects that would log old
growth trees in the name of fire prevention.

"For years, conservation organizations have been pressuring the Forest
Service to focus its efforts on protection of communities through the use
of both prescribed burning and reduction of underbrush, rather than
continuing to log our remaining old growth trees in remote wildlands,"
said Brian Segee with the Center for Biological Diversity in Arizona.

"The Rodeo-Chediski fire in Arizona - which burned through over 2,100
miles of logging roads and 10 recent timber sale areas - is a perfect
illustration of how industrial logging does not fireproof a forest," Segee
pointed out.

"Far from being a right-wing poster child for environmentalism gone bad,
the Rodeo-Chediski fire shows just how ferociously fires can burn through
land that had been badly hammered by the logging industry and the U.S.
Forest Service." he said.

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) says the peak of this year's
western fire season is yet to come. According to fire weather and
predictive services experts at NIFC, the potential for extreme fire
activity will continue to be high over the next two months, with the
entire western United States expected to be hotter than normal and with
some areas of drier than normal conditions.

Based on historical comparisons, about 80 percent of the large wildland
fires that occur in many western states happen in July and August. With
dry conditions reported in the Great Basin, California, Wyoming, southeast
Montana, and pockets of eastern Washington and Oregon, the potential for
fires to escape containment and become large is very high this summer.

Thursday was considered a good day, as firefighters were successful in
containing three large fires and only one, in southern California, of the
more than 300 wildland fires reported, became large. Of the 45 large fires
burning currently, eight are expected to be contained by Sunday.

But Thursday brought tragedy as well, when a Hawkins and Powers Aviation
PB4Y2 air tanker on contract with the U.S. Forest Service crashed while
assigned to the Big Elk fire near Estes Park, Colorado. The two crew
members aboard were killed, adding to public concerns about this year's
record fire season.

Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center have issued a stand-down
order for all contracted large airtankers and lead planes until noon
Saturday, to allow the contractors to inspect and service their aircraft,
and to give flight crews a day of rest.

"The Forest Service, Bush administration and anti-environmental members of
Congress are spreading a great deal of misinformation about wildfire,
hoping to capitalize on public fire hysteria and minimize public
opposition to increased logging and roadbuilding in our national forests,"
said Jake Kreilick of the National Forest Protection Alliance based in
Missoula, Montana.

"With virtually all new timber sales couched in terms of 'reducing fuels'
or 'restoring forest health,' fire hysteria has emerged as the driving
force behind the Forest Service's logging program and the administration's
efforts to 'streamline' our nation's environmental laws," Kreilick said.

The governors of Western states swept by wildfires this season are urging
Congress to allocate emergency supplemental funding to the Forest Service
and Department of the Interior for wildland fire management. They are
requesting funding for restoration work to improve forest ecosystem health
and to rehabilitate burned and unburned areas so they regenerate in a way
that reduces the risk posed by future fires.

The governors are also seeking substantial funding in fiscal year 2003 to
pay for community assistance in rural communities trying to protect homes,
businesses and watersheds. Those same goals are supported by the
conservation groups that wrote to the Forest Service this week.

The groups ended their letter to the Forest Service by saying, "As you can
clearly see, the conservation community is deeply committed to the
protection of homes and communities. We will continue to expand our
efforts to safeguard communities, while at the same time, promote and
support ecologically based restoration projects on our national forests.
If the Forest Service supports these goals, we feel strongly that we can
work together."

"However, if the Forest Service continues to misuse National Fire Plan
money, the conservation community will continue to hold your agency
accountable," the groups wrote. "The American people and our nation's
public lands deserve no less."

Among the groups signing the letter were the Alliance for the Wild
Rockies, Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, California Wilderness
Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, Endangered Species Coalition,
Forest Guardians, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Native Forest Network,
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Rainforest Action
Network, and REP America (Republicans for Environmental Protection).

"It is time for the Forest Service to be accountable and set its fire
management priorities where Congress and the American people have long
demanded it," said Dr. Timothy Ingalsbee, director of American Lands
Alliance's Western Fire Ecology Center in Eugene, Oregon.

Dr. Ingalsbee said the coalition supports "fuel reduction and fire
protection directly adjacent to homes and communities instead of
commercial logging or aggressive fire suppression in remote wildlands."


ITEM #2
Title: A Burning Issue: Helping Loggers, Hurting Forests
Source: Copyright 2002, Los Angeles Times,
 http://www.latimes.com/news/science/
Date: July 15, 2002

By CHAD HANSON, Chad Hanson is the executive director of the John Muir
Project and a national director of the Sierra Club. E-mail:
chadhanson@juno. com.


Scores of scientists and the federal government's own national fire plan
have concluded that the removal of mature trees from forests increases the
severity of forest fires. Why then would the Bush administration use the
threat of fires to try to increase logging of mature and old-growth trees
in our national forests?

That is clearly the administration's intention, as outlined in two recent
memos on revising the Northwest Forest Plan and the "Sierra Nevada
Framework" plan to allow logging companies increased access to ancient
forests on public lands. The move is being led by Mark Rey, a former
timber industry lobbyist and a President Bush appointee who oversees the
Forest Service.

In the Sierra Nevada, the administration intends to "modify" the current
Sierra framework plan to increase the size of trees that could be removed,
which would allow widespread logging of old-growth trees in national
forests. The administration also has indicated its intentions to eliminate
the current requirement to maintain small stands of remnant ancient forest
and to reduce the existing standards for maintaining forest canopy cover.

This would greatly undercut the Sierra framework, which limits logging of
mature trees in national forests in the Sierra Nevada. The framework was
the result of several years of planning and public participation during
the Clinton administration. Bush administration officials imply that this
logging is needed to protect homes from forest fires. Yet the Forest
Service's own scientific reports show that the best way to protect rural
homes from fire is to reduce the flammability of the home itself and its
surroundings within 100 feet. Wood shingles should be replaced with fire-
resistant roofing, and brush around the home should be cleared. These
steps protect homes even from severe fires.

As scientists point out, commercial logging actually increases fire
severity by removing large, fire- resistant trees and leaving behind very
small trees and flammable "slash debris"--branches, twigs and needles from
felled trees. The removal of mature trees also decreases the forest
canopy, creating hotter, drier conditions on the ground. The additional
sun exposure encourages the growth of flammable brush and weeds.Reduction
of flammable underbrush can reduce fire severity, and environmental groups
have encouraged such projects. However, the Bush administration has
grossly misused the funds that Congress appropriated for brush reduction
near homes. In Sierra Nevada national forests last year, more than 90% of
these funds were instead earmarked for preparation of large timber sales
focused on the removal of mature and old-growth trees miles from the
nearest town.

The Bush administration's potentially dangerous fire management policies
demonstrate the need for Congress to pass legislation to abolish
commercial logging in national forests and to redirect logging
expenditures into brush reduction and home protection.

Until that happens, many politicians will continue to place the economic
interests of their timber industry campaign contributors ahead of public
safety and ecology.


ITEM #3
Title: Green groups share blame for US fires - Republicans
Source: Copyright 2002, Reuters,
 http://www.planetark.org/dailynewshome.cfm
Date: July 15, 2002
Byline: Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON - Republican lawmakers last week blamed environmental groups
for contributing to U.S. forest fires that destroyed more than 3.1 million
acres this year by blocking federal attempts to thin undergrowth.

Green groups and the timber industry disagree on when brush and small
trees should be removed from federal forests to reduce the risk of
wildfires.

Colorado Republican Scott McInnis, who chairs a House forestry
subcommittee, said green groups have repeatedly gone to court to block
attempts by the federal government to thin forests. The delays have led to
overgrown brush that becomes tinder in spreading fires such as the ones in
Arizona and Colorado.

"The environmental community ... has attempted to walk away from its share
of the blame," said McInnis. "I am urging those environmental groups to
sit down, come to us with ways to work through this."McInnis and other
lawmakers said green groups such as the Sierra Club had little incentive
to work with the U.S. Forest Service to reach an agreement because they
can simply delay a project in court.

Thinning a forest removes the overgrowth of underlying brush and dead
trees, which serve as fuel in the spread of wildfires, especially during a
drought.

Environmental groups and some lawmakers have long opposed efforts to thin
forest land, contending the government is too eager to remove large trees
coveted by big timber companies for profit. The groups also say commercial
logging increases fire risks by leaving flammable debris behind.

The Forest Service is trying "to blur the lines and say any management
activity is fuel reduction," said Sean Cosgrove, a forest specialist with
the Sierra Club.

Less than one-third of the forest thinning projects proposed this year by
the Forest Service are near homes or other buildings, according to green
groups.

The green groups argue the Forest Service has not thinned enough land near
homes, focusing its attention on removing lumber in areas where the public
is not in danger.

"The public and general populous will be more responsive to an agency that
says, 'We're doing our best, but we need to do better,' instead of this
lets blame anybody and everybody so we don't have to take full
responsibility for our actions," said Keith Ashdown, a spokesman with
Taxpayers for Common Sense.

The Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Agriculture Department,
estimated that as many as 50 percent of all thinning projects are
challenged in court.

However, a study by the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative
arm, found less than 2 percent of projects were appealed. The study is now
being reviewed by the GAO.

The Forest Service "got caught with their hand in the cookie jar," said
Jay Inslee, a Washington Democrat. "They want to do logging for big timber
rather than fuel reduction."

About 3.1 million acres (1.26 million hectares) of land already has burned
this year across the United States, nearly double the 10-year average,
according to the federal government.

Drought conditions throughout much of the Southwest, Rockies and the East
coast add to the risk of forest fires this year. The agency said Arizona,
Colorado, Wyoming and California have the greatest fire risk during July.

In Arizona, the Chediski fire has consumed about 468,000 acres (190,000
hectares) while wiping out millions of dollars worth of timber sold by
Indian tribes for income. The Hayman fire in Colorado, 55 miles (88 km)
southwest of Denver, burned 137,768 acres (55,750 hectares) and destroyed
133 homes.

###RELAYED TEXT ENDS###

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at URL=  http://forests.org/

Networked by Forests.org, Inc.,  gbarry@forests.org


Glen Barry
M.S., Ph.D. (abd)
President
Forests.org, Inc.
 gbarry@forests.org