Tree Frog Forestry News

Sustaining all forest values

By James Burchfield, former dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana
The Missoulian
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

James Burchfield

Montana can be proud of the legacy it has provided to the nation in its dedication to the conservation and management of public lands. …The June 12 visit to Missoula by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to announce his Secretarial Memorandum on new agency priorities reminds us how easily we may be lured in the wrong direction. His mandate to “increase America’s energy dominance” and “reduce regulatory burdens” comes on the heels of a June 4 Presidential Executive Order that orders federal agencies to set aside environmental impact requirements because of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly, the nation must take assertive measures to restore the economy, but a command to exploit complex ecological systems without appropriate environmental reviews, guaranteed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), abandons the sound principle of “look before you leap.” 

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