Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Judges Who Are Our Friends

Judge rejects Bush plan to log in Sequoia National Monument

"But, but, but - we are just protecting the trees."

Yeah right.

Maybe if they didn't stand to profit from the selling of our National Treasures - I might believe them. (Probably not).


A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a Bush administration plan to allow commercial logging in Giant Sequoia National Monument, home to two-thirds of the world's largest trees.

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer sided with state Attorney General Bill Lockyer and environmental groups that sued the U.S. Forest Service over plans to permit timber cuts on up to 3,200 acres each year in the 328,000-acre preserve, home to 38 sequoia groves in Central California.

"The Forest Service's interest in harvesting timber has trampled the applicable environmental laws," Breyer wrote, calling the agency's forest management plan "incomprehensible."

The plan would have allowed up to 7.5 million board feet of timber - enough to fill 1,500 logging trucks - to be removed each year from the monument in Sierra Nevada, the plaintiffs said."

..."When the smaller diameter trees catch fire, that's the one thing that can kill the giant sequoia trees towering above them," ( spokesman) Mathes said. "We need to take another look at how we're going to manage this monument to protect these magnificent trees from fire."


One of the things that I remember from being at the Giant Sequoia National Monument is that the large trees are to some extent resistant to fire - and that is part of why they live so long. And then there are fires that are used to try to maintain the natural ecosystem. Somehow I don't think that hauling off hundreds of truckloads of wood is part of the natural system of things.

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