New Battle of Logging vs. Spotted Owls Looms in West

While Bush and Cheney (it seems especially Cheney) are gearing up for war with Iran, folks in this lame duck Administration are trying gin up the timber wars of the early to mid-1990s.

This should be a settled matter, especially because the whole thing was not really about the spotted owl but the conservation of irreplaceable “old growth” or “ancient” forests. It is a settled matter.

Nevertheless, the BLM wants to greatly increase logging in Oregon old growth forests even as the market slumps.

I’ll bet this has a lot to do with the ascension of Jim Caswell to the post of BLM director.  Before he became an aide to Idaho governor, now Secretary of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, Caswell was supervisor the Clearwater National Forest, and earlier, the Targhee National Forest in Eastern Idaho.

I remember him well on the Targhee. He was responsible, I believe, for making the transition from the massive salvage logging of bug-killed trees on the Targhee to sustainable logging of the new green trees unnecessarily abrupt, hard on people, divisive.  His ways don’t change.

Story in the New York Times.  New Battle of Logging vs. Spotted Owls Looms in West. By Felicity Barringer.

Drilling backlash ‘overblown,’ BLM chief says

Caswell, the new BLM chief, thinks Democratic Party gains in the West are not due to a backlash from all the oil and gas drilling in prime wildlife and scenic areas.

Drilling backlash is overblown according to Jim Caswell, new BLM head. By John Heilprin. Casper Star Tribune.

I don’t see evidence one way or the other from this article. It’s just Caswell’s opinion.