Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bush Trashes Our Inheritance

Timothy Egan makes these sad observations..... "I drove through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on my way to climb Mount Hood, and found the place in tatters. Roads are closed, or in disrepair. Trails are washed out. The campgrounds, those that are open, are frayed and unkempt. It looks like the forestry equivalent of a neighborhood crack house." (The New York Times)

A century ago, it was the vision of president Teddy Roosevelt and his first chief of the Forest Service Gifford Pinchot, both rich men, that unlike Europe where only the lords of privilege enjoyed nature, in this country everyone could enjoy the outdoors.

Roosevelt and Pinchot stood for the every man, and against the interests of railroads, timber barons, mine owners.... and helped established our 565 million-acre birthright.

Then came The Decider.

"In the Pinchot woods, you see the George W. Bush public lands legacy. If you want to drill, or cut trees, or open a gas line - the place is yours. Most everything else has been trashed or left to bleed to death."

The national wildlife system, started by Roosevelt, has been gutted by The Decider who has systematically reduced the budget to where this year more than 200 refuges could be unstaffed.

The Bureau of Land Management was given the green light by The Decider early in his administration to allow drilling for gas and oil.... his first priority.

Forest Service policy is set by an ex-timber industry insider and the budget has been cut once again, while the Interior Department had been run by a former coal lobbyist... until he plead guilty to obstruction of justice.

For The Decider, our beautiful public lands are nothing more than assets to be exploited by his corporate buddies.... the new landlords of our government.

"Roosevelt had his place on Oyster Bay. Pinchot had a family estate in Pennsylvania. Bush has the ranch in Crawford. Only one of them has never been able to see beyond the front porch."

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