BUSH FOREST REFORMS TO BENEFIT ENVIRONMENT
January 6, 2005
Changes to forest regulations will improve management and sustainability of forests, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Environmentalists have raised objections, but the Journal says the old rules are outdated, no longer work and needed to be changed:
- The Government Accountability Office estimates that one in three forest acres is dead or dying, which has contributed to a rise in wildfires.
- Of the 1,300 species of wildlife the government has listed for protection over the past 30 years, 12 have recovered (been removed from the endangered list).
The new regulations will put environmental policy back at the local level where managers will be more capable at adapting to new threats and at much less cost:
- Managers of each of the nation's 155 national forests and 20 grasslands now must adopt an environmental management system (EMS), which have been standard in the private sector for years.
- EMS allow local managers to introduce new science or techniques as forest conditions demand; large revisions to management plans should take 2 to 3 years, rather than an average of 7 under the existing system.
Source: Editorial, "Fixing Our Forests," Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2004.
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