[GRRN] Fw: Detroit Free Press Editorial

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 17:51:56 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: Ralph DeGennaro <ralph@taxpayer.net>
To: <bill_sheehan@mindspring.com>
Sent: Monday, July 19, 1999 2:59 PM
Subject: FW: Detroit Free Press Editorial

Tree Waste: Forest policy shouldn't favor the bulldozers

July 19, 1999

Inside the Beltway, nature is a keen concern -- when it's beavers hacking
down cherry trees at the Tidal Basin's edge. Ask Congress to show some
concern for fish and pines and rivulets in the expanses of federal forests,
though, and interest drops precipitously.

Once again during this year's budget deliberations, a few representatives
and senators will push for key policy decisions about national forests as
they debate Department of Interior spending. Study after study -- including
an analysis by the Forest Service itself -- shows that the government spends
more helping lumber companies cut trees than the companies send back in
fees. Taxpayers lose money -- and trees.

But a simple balance sheet analysis doesn't do justice to the real loss. Any
road that sidles along a cold, clear stream can disrupt a fishery. Bringing
heavy equipment through a wetland can damage yet one more filter that
maintains water quality.

Then consider the recyclers' plea: When tax money subsidizes the pulp that
goes into new paper, recycled paper becomes that much less cost-competitive.
If the important thing is to keep reams of paper out of landfills, taxpayers
might prefer to subsidize recycled paper, or subsidize neither, and let the
market work.

Finally, add in the studies that show job creation in outdoor recreation --
the national forests are prime spots -- far exceeds the lumber industry's

So you just might want to ask your representative and senators why they
expect you to pay taxes to hack out tree after tree in your own forests.
Even the beavers weren't so disingenuous.