More last minute Administration swipe at the economy and the environment

Mark Rey set to hamstring Western national forests and counties allowing developers to pave Forest Service logging roads for remote subdivisions-

The “Darth Vader” of the national forests is poised to strike again during the Administration’s deaththrows. Former timber lobbyist Rey, who bosses the Forest Service, will try to set in stone the plan to make it easier to turn the remote backcountry to ugly, tax-draining subdivisions.

This is on behalf of Plum Creek Timber who would rather sale for subdivisions their timberlands interspersed with national forest land rather than grow trees. Plum Creek has about 8 million areas, mostly as the result of the 1864 Northern Pacific Land Grant.

This continues the host of housing policies of the Bush Administration which have caused a collapse of the economy of the United States and plunged the entire world into a recession. Fortunately, Obama can reverse this. In fact, he specifically referred to this during has campaigning in Montana.

U.S. Forest Policy Is Set to Change, Aiding Developer. Shift Would Let Firm Pave Logging Roads. By Karl Vick. Washington Post.

Mark Rey

Mark Rey

Update. Plum Creek Backs Off Road Easements in Montana. Timber company tells Missoula County the easement amendments are off the table, just as Mark Rey was ready to go to bat for it. By Matthew Frank, 1-05-09. New West.

2nd update. Forest Service too backs off road easements. By Courtney Lowery. New West.


Obama lambastes closed-door Plum Creek land talks

Yesterday, we discussed this massive burden Mark Rey has just dropped on Montana counties in the form of access to remote second home sites. This is an indication that Obama may be good on land use issues.

Earlier he blasted the Cline Mine and related proposals in British Columbia that threaten Montana’s Flathead River and Glacier National Park.

Obama lambastes closed-door Plum Creek land talks. By Jennifer McKee. Missoulian State Bureau

July 10 more . . . Plum  Creek — a low-hanging fruit. Obama Chimes In on Plum Creek, Forest Service Agreement. By Matthew Frank. New West.

Former Larry Craig aide and timber lobbyist, uses federal position to help access to trophy home sites deep in the forest

We’ve talked about Mary Rey before. He is under secretary for natural resources and environment in USDA, and thus oversees the U.S. Forest Service. Before that he learned the ropes from none other than Larry Craig and became a lobbyist for the timber industry.

In the past, he has barely escaped jail for defying court orders, and most recently is busy trampling on states rights to open national forest logging roads as acess to proposed and under constrution trophy homes deep the the forests.

These energy sucking, hard-to-service palaces are being built over the objections of states and counties that will have to pay the bills.

Rocky Barker discusses Rey today. D.C. political appointee flouts states rights and local control. Letters from the West. Idaho Statesman

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Earlier. Rey to explain Plum Creek deal. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

Mark Rey walks

U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey walked out of federal court a free man Wednesday in Missoula, wearing not an orange inmate’s jumpsuit but the gray business suit with American flag lapel pin he had donned for his contempt hearing.

Ag chief cleared of contempt. By John Cramer the Missoulian

The federal judge wasn’t happy, but apparently thought his contempt of court citation might bring the Forest Service around (a little bit).

More. Judge Clears Mark Rey and Forest Service of Contempt. By Dillon Tabish. New West.