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View Diary: I think I should strike while the iron is hot. (109 comments)

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  •  Intimidation on forest science (4+ / 0-)

    White House pressure was applied at least temporarily.  As usual, scientific findings are dramatically at odds with Republican policies on natural resources.

    President's logging plans are an ax to the forests

    U.S. Rep. Tom Udall was host to a science forum on Capitol Hill on Friday that exposed the lack of science in the Bush administration's national forest logging plans.

    Udall's forum featured six prominent scientists who have researched the impact of logging after fires and other disturbances.

    House Bill 4200, which goes so far as to categorize "snow" and "rainstorms" as "catastrophes," will soon be voted on by the entire House.

    But a scientific study by Oregon State University - as well as the findings of more than 30 other scientific studies - severely undercut the premise for this logging bill.

    Of the more than 30 scientific papers on post-fire logging published to date, none indicates that logging provides benefits to ecosystems regenerating after a disturbance.

    While supporters of this logging bill say it is pro-science, the actions of timber interests and supporters of the logging bill tell a different story.

    Some professors from Oregon State's School of Forestry - which is partly funded by a tax on logging - have been working overtime to discredit the research of one of their own researchers that contradicts timber industry claims. When faced with research showing forests recover faster from fire when bulldozers and chain saws are kept out of them, they tried to suppress the findings.

    The Bush administration then tried to cut funding for the research . but was quickly forced to back down under pressure. However, the chilling message was already sent: If you say something we don't like, you might lose your research funding.

    Hurrah for Tom Udall!  New Mexicans are very lucky to have a Congressperson we can be proud of.  

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