The Wall Street Journal has an article (subscription) about how policies of environmental groups, that is those eager to whip up a law suit at the drop of a hat, are destroying the forests and the residual effects are astounding.
A fuels-management project to log and thin 4,800 acres in the Bozeman, Mont., watershed exemplifies the problem. This project has been held up since 2010 on grounds that the environmental-impact assessment did not adequately protect the habitat of the Canadian lynx and the grizzly bear, both listed as threatened species.
Now a wildfire threatens the watershed, burning over 10,000 acres and costing more than $2 million to fight. As one firefighter put it, “fire is the environmentalist’s way of thinning the forests.”
Ignorant, single-focused environmentalists often are content to allow the destruction of other wild things in order to promote their own private agendas while using tax payer money to sue for more tax payer money.
Cutting the “Gordian knot” is necessary if the Forest Service is to properly manage national forest assets and reduce wildfires. A start would be to require environmental groups to post a sizable bond when they file lawsuits. If the area burns while the suit is in the courts, the bond would be forfeited to defray firefighting costs.
This would allow public involvement through judicial review but hold opponents accountable. This might lead to a more responsible form of environmentalism.