Magazine article Insight on the News

At a Critical Moment, Bush Administration Grants Greens Reprieve

Magazine article Insight on the News

At a Critical Moment, Bush Administration Grants Greens Reprieve

Article excerpt

What do you do when you've got an adversary who is ahead on points but suddenly out of wind and on the ropes?

If you're Joe Louis or Rocky Marciano, you throw the punch that will finish the palooka before the palooka finishes you. But if you're the Bush administration, evidently afraid of picking fights with environmental groups implacably hostile to its agenda, you throw in the towel at the pivotal moment, surrendering the title and prize money to the palooka.

Radical environmentalists have advanced their cause considerably by using a sue-from-the-hip strategy that tied public-lands policy in knots through saturation litigation. Yet that strategy seemed of late to be reaching a point of diminishing returns, as the sheer volume of environmental lawsuits began backing up on itself like a low-flow toilet and working to the detriment of the environment they were intended to save.

U.S. forests are insect-blighted and burning, claiming the lives and habitats of untold numbers of plants, animals and a few unfortunate firefighters, due in large part to the non-management of federal forests as prescribed by litigious antilogging zealots. The inequities and idiocies of an Endangered Species Act that puts the interests of sucker fish over those of family farmers are reaping a bitter harvest in Klamath, Ore. …

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