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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this interesting. Yet more proof that the extremist enviromental groups are hurting the very thing they claim to protect.



Truth Under Fire
Environmentalist claims of vindication go up in smoke.

Thursday, July 11, 2002 12:01 a.m.

Talk about starting a fire in your own backyard.

Last month, environmental groups across the country
hollered like banshees when politicians and local
communities began taking them to task for the massive
wildfires that are today gutting the West. The
crescendo came when Arizona's Gov. Jane Dee Hull,
watching half a million acres of her state go up in
smoke, flatly blamed greenies for obstructing work to
clean up national forests. She was talking about the
never-ending stream of appeals and lawsuits they file
to halt thinning, road building and firebreaks.

The only thing was, just as the enviros were taking
some richly deserved heat, they suddenly surfaced with
what looked like an ironclad defense--in the form of a
General Accounting Office report. According to that
paper, of the 1,671 Forest Service projects to reduce
hazardous fuels in 2001, outside groups had objected
to only 20--less than 1%. "It would have been good if
the governor had gotten her facts straight before
spouting off," spat Sandy Bahr, of the Sierra Club
Grand Canyon Chapter.

The report quickly became the news in the forest fire
debate. The Sierra Club pasted Ms. Bahr's quote
beneath the GAO numbers on its Web site. The Center
for Biological Diversity and the Wilderness Society
feted the document, claiming exoneration. The New York
Times editorial page howled that the report showed
accusations against environmental groups to be

Western politicians, scientists and forest officials,
in the meantime, were mystified: Everyone unlucky
enough to own a tree in his backyard knows from
experience that environmental groups appeal projects
faster than bunnies reproduce. So what was up with
this GAO report?

What was up was the report itself. And the
environmental groups, who knew it all along, now have
some serious egg on their all-natural faces.

In a three-page letter sent this week to Congress,
Barry Hill, the director of natural resources and the
environment at the GAO, set the record straight. He
delicately explained the methodology used to count up
appeals and litigation. The details are dense, but the
message was clear: The GAO didn't have the whole

His letter just happens to coincide with a new Forest
Service report with the correct numbers. And guess
what? It turns out nearly half (48%) of all the
Service's plans for getting rid of hazardous fuels
were appealed by outside groups. In the Northern
Region, one of nine the Service administers, every
single one of its projects for fiscal year 2001-02--53
in total--was appealed. Other regions saw anywhere
from 67% to 79% of their plans put on hold through

But here's the real kicker: The Forest Service report
also names those groups that launch the most appeals.
Surprise, surprise, they include the Sierra Club, the
Center for Biological Diversity, the Wilderness
Society and others--the very same folks who held up
the (obviously) incorrect GAO report and claimed it
was true. "These numbers are . . . a harsh reminder of
just how relentlessly ideological some environmental
litigants have become," said Rep. Scott McInnis (R.,

That comment just about sums it up. For years, radical
environmentalists have twisted and fabricated facts in
their desire to keep humans out of the forests. Most
of the time, they get away with it. This time, they've
been caught with their loincloths down.

It'd be nice to think that Ms. Bahr, the Sierra Club
and other groups will now post the real numbers on
their Web sites--seeing, after all, as how we should
all "get our facts straight before spouting off." Then
again, if that's the standard, perhaps we just won't
be hearing anything from these groups for a very long
time to come.
Ms. Strassel is an editorial page writer for The Wall
Street Journal. Her column appears on alternate

Copyright ) 2002 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights

67 Posts
We all know that moderation is the key in most everything we do, and the exteme environmentalists are just as bad as the extreme a**holes out there wrecking trails and forests. It's nice to see them get kicked in the nuts by the government. Pardon my french. It would be nice if these groups realized that only 1% of people using these areas are out to damage the environment without any consideration, and that dedicated wheelers probably do more for the environment than they do.
"Down off the soapbox sir, and keep your hands where I can see 'em!"

20 Posts
The only way to make a difference is to stick together, all together there is a large number of people that enjoy using the great outdoors for all different reasons. I enjoy offroading, dirtbiking, mtn biking, camping and pretty much anything that gets me outside the city. So I am always happy to meet new people that are out doing something out there, if I am out wheeling and I see someone ride by on a dirtbike or a mtn bike or just someone out walking on the trail, I see someone I have something in common with. The worst thing that can happen is if we start dividing up into groups that don't get along with each other. It is even worse if you start dividing the groups into more groups. I get depressed when I see people who all like offroading but can't seem to get along, we are all in this together, we all in some way have the same interests so lets get along. If everyone who likes to travel off the paved path would join together to form some type of Outdoor users association or something like that we could make our voice heard and appreciated.
Just my opinion.
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