Ignoring safeguards for endangered wildlife and forests

This past Wednesday in San Francisco, a group of environmentalists asked a federal judge to overturn the Bush administration’s rules for managing the country’s 155 national forests, arguing that the regulations illegally weaken protections for wilderness and wildlife.

The Bald Eagle: a truly American bird.

The Bald Eagle: a truly American bird.

The new rules, according to environmental representatives, do not include these safeguards, which are required by federal law. The rules instead allow forest management plans to be revised without environmental studies. The rules also repealed a requirement for forests to maintain “viable” populations of native wildlife.

Additionally, the rules also argued that the administration failed to adequately study the environmental impact of changing forest management practices and did not give the public enough opportunity to comment on the revisions.

As of yet, however, the judge in the case has not ruled on the issue.

It’s another classic case of “here we go again”: the Loathsome Lobbyists pressure the Abject Administration, the Abject Administration receives fat contributions under separate guise and caves in to the Myopic Moneyed Minority, and wilderness populations begin dying due to destruction of habitat. A rather simplistic view, I suppose, but Perception is Truth.

Meanwhile we, the Mute Majority, before we are adequately aware of it, lose another slice of Perishing Prescious Paradise.

If reading this kind of news doesn’t make you spitting mad, then I must suspect that you’ve been hiding in a closet or opiating on too much of someone else’s television reality. But then, apathy has always been the first refuge for those of inchoate conscience.

To my mind, this sad tale really represents a classic Call to Action. And one of the best places to act is in the voting booth. That’s where I’ll be next Tuesday morning.



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