News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
TUESDAY, JULY 25, 2006


Common sense takes ax to bad environmental idea

Death is a good thing when it comes to saving publicly owned forest lands from a president with a dubious environmental record.

In this case, President Bush's proposals to sell off hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land died recently after a Senate committee passed a key spending bill. The bill excludes the Bush provisions, as the U.S. House had done earlier.

The president's 2007 budget plan would have sold U.S. Forest Service lands to fund a rural schools and counties program and Bureau of Land Management acres to fund government operations and reduce the debt.

"Selling off something we will lose forever, in exchange for something we could pay for by other, more prudent means, is simply irresponsible," Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., told the Jackson Hole Star-Tribune. "The decision to defeat a proposal to sell 17,000 acres of Forest Service land was an easy one to make."

Lest we think this is just an issue out West, 2,822 of those acres are in Alabama, including about 834 in Bankhead National Forest.

It's just like this president to take something good — like reducing the deficit and funding schools — and turn it into something bad.

After all, he's the man who wanted to save the trees from future forest fires by cutting them.

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