It’s pretty obvious by now that George W. Bush is not environmentally friendly. During the election cycle, although the topic of the environment was not widely discussed, there were plenty of cries against Bush’s disastrous environmental policies. He has systematically dismantled environmental protections across the board. He’s installed corporate polluters to any and all cabinet positions that have anything to do with the environment. His minions have doctored science, doctored reports and given way to the corporate dollar instead of protecting the environment, our most precious resource.
A federal judge has concluded that the Bush administration broke environmental laws last year when it cleared the way for more commercial logging of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.
In 1994, the government adopted environmental protections and limits on timber harvesting — the Northwest Forest Plan — to halt the decline of the northern spotted owl and other wildlife that depended on large, old trees.
Last year, the administration dropped part of the plan — a requirement that before logging, federal forest managers search for rare plants and animals associated with old growth, and that if the species turn up, managers alter logging plans to prevent harm to the ecosystem.
The administration said the surveys were expensive and time-consuming and had made it impossible for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to conduct the volume of logging permitted under the Northwest plan.
Ruling Monday in a case filed by environmental groups, District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle said the agencies had violated the law by not fully analyzing the environmental effects of eliminating the surveys. The government had argued that another conservation measure would protect many of the species covered by the survey requirement, but Pechman noted that there was no guarantee those species would be included in the other program.