April 01, 2005

Environmentalists slam new U.S. 'forest-thinning' project.

Since Dubya took office, the US Interior Department has been raising the hackles of environmental groups by approving more and more so-called 'salvage logging' plans. While the feds claim that these plans merely provide a practical use for dead trees that would be wasted in the normal course of events, opponents call salvage logging a license for timber companies to continue irresponsible and destructive over-logging of public lands.

In northeastern Arizona, a public radio station has uncovered a new salvage logging plan that involves logging some of the oldest timber in the US. That plan promises to be one of the most controversial ever to come out of Dubya's administration.

Here's a transcript of the first part of the story:

[Story opens with rock-chopping sound]

Bill Hartzell uses a specially-designed hatchet to inspect the wood on a test plot, 45 miles east of Holbrook.

Soundbite: We’re finding that some of these trees have insect damage, some have water damage that goes back a long time.

A long time indeed. Hartzell is an engineer with Amalgamated Timber’s Petrified Products division. He’s evaluating the quality of the wood at Petrified Forest as his company prepares to launch an unprecedented salvage operation.

Soundbite: All these trees you see in front of you – we’re going to be taking those trees and running them through our state-of-the-art mill and converting them for use as building material. This wood has a wide-range of applications. Everything from two-by-fours, to countertops, to bathroom tile.

Amalgamated Timber recently won the contract for the project from the US Interior Department as part of the plan to expand Petrified Forest National Park. Under the terms of the agreement, Amalgamated will only be allowed to remove downed and dead trees.

You can listen to the entire story as it ran on April 1 here. [Real Audio]


Posted by Magpie at April 1, 2005 01:11 PM | Humor | Technorati links |

And I hear they'll start their operations on June 31.

Posted by: Ontario Emperor at April 1, 2005 02:49 PM