Bush Energy Policies Delay Forest Service Plan
The delay of the forest management plan for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests has now caught the attention of Senator Ken Salazar. Last week the draft forest management plans for these forests was shelved while forest officials reviewed it for compliance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Salazar sent a letter to Mark Rey, Undersecretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), who is assumed to have made the decision to remove the draft document from public review. “There will be widespread skepticism if the plan is now pulled back for revision,” wrote Salazar. The plan had been in the works for over four years and was “a model for public information and involvement,” Salazar noted in his letter.
On Sunday, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, usually a stalwart of Republican policy, slammed the forest service decision and added more fuel to the fire: “To wit, the GMUG draft management plan was postponed because under the whip hand of longtime timber industry lobbyist and Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey, the Bush administration is bound and determined to open every conceivable acre of western public lands possible to domestic energy development, and damn the consequences.”
New regulations in the 2005 Energy Policy Act allow forest supervisors to approve logging, oil or gas drilling, and road building without having to consider the impact on wildlife species or content with enforceable standards for caps on logging, drilling and other important resource protection. One of the Energy Policy’s new regulations replaces the existing environmental review and administrative appeals process with a very superficial opportunity to object to forest plans, according to environmentalist claims.
Senator Salazar will have an opportunity to discuss the matter in person with Undersecretary Rey. Salazar is to question Rey on Wednesday before the Agriculture Committee’s subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation and Rural Revitalization.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) and the Community College of Denver (CCD) Paralegal Program are holding a public debate for the candidates seeking the position […]Read More
A candidate’s secret spending in the governor’s race highlights Colorado’s unique money-in-politics enforcement laws
Erik Underwood, a Democrat running in the wide race for governor, is drawing attention for his secret spending on the race. The media tech entrepreneur […]Read More