Bush's Forest Service green-lights decimation of Sierra trees
Sacramento -- The U.S. Forest Service made final an ambitious plan for doubling the amount of timber cut in the Sierra Nevada forest Thursday, drawing the ire of environmentalists and only tepid support from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration.

The "Forests with a Future" plan is designed to decrease catastrophic wildfires in the Sierra Nevada's 11 national forests by aggressively thinning on federal land.

Officials said the devastating wildfires in Southern California last year should be a wake-up call for action for the Sierra, where 850 communities have been classified as at risk of a catastrophic fire.

"The total plan is one-fifth of the forests' annual growth," said Jack Blackwell, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester. "Forests will continue to get denser and denser."

How do forests get 'denser and denser', exactly? More than they've done in the last million+ years of evolution, anyway? This whole Saruman episode wouldn't be sponsored by timber robber-barons, would it?

It's a fact - certain trees need fire to reproduce and get 'denser and denser'. Fires are natural and help forests; that's why they happen every year. If they're getting worse, it's due to global warming.

Was James Watt this bad? Don't trees prevent landslides, silting over of streams [helping dams bring us all power, mind you], and turn carbon dioxide into oxygen? Didn't Reagan say trees were sources of pollution?

"Hands all over the inland forest
In a striking motion trees fall down
Like dying soldiers"
-- Soundgarden