Retired Forest Planner Blasts Secret Forest Service Project
By Bill Schneider
Sunday 01 October 2006
Where is the outrage?
Dick Artley retired from the Forest Service (FS) on the very first day he became eligible for retirement, September 3, 2003. (The significance of that date will soon become clear.) For the last 12 years of his career, he worked as a forest planner at the Nez Perce National Forest in central Idaho where he still lives.
In an open letter to "fellow citizens who enjoy recreating on public land with our families" making the rounds in cyberspace, Artley sharply criticizes the Recreation Site Facility Master Planning (RSFMP) project currently underway within the FS. His criticism follows vocal opposition to the project from green groups like Wild Wilderness and Western Slope No Fee Coalition that claim it will result in the closing or privatizing of thousands of recreation sites.
"Something very tragic is happening to our public land," Artley proclaims. "This policy (RSFMP) was cooked up in secret by the Forest Service in 2002 with absolutely no public involvement or congressional review. By law, every RSFMP project must go through the National Environmental Policy Act process and have a public input period, but the Forest Service has chosen to ignore NEPA."
Artley writes about his efforts to contact the FS Washington D.C. office to express concerns over the RSFMP process. He provided factual information about how certain sites in on four Colorado national forests were already being illegally bulldozed as a result of the process, despite severe local opposition. In the end, he concluded that his efforts to contact the agency where he worked his entire life were a "waste of time." So, he went public.
Another sneaky move by Bush. This article is an eye opener--but then we have had so many by now, it isn't really a surprise.
Good to know what is happening though.
More info at link