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Washington, D.C., September 5, 2003—“Utter contempt for those who are truly being hurt…,” is how Robert J. Smith, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Senior Environmental Scholar, describes the attitude of liberal Senators, Greenpeace, and other outspoken environmental groups that offer ineffective solutions for restoring the health of our forests. “These groups are more concerned about promoting their own agendas than supporting more practical solutions offered in President Bush’s Healthy Forest Restoration Act,” he says.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Healthy Forests Restoration Act in May, but it has stalled in the Senate. Smith says the bill is the first step in undoing the antiquated laws that have for decades dictated how our national forests have been managed. As of the first week in September, this year’s forest fires have left over 2.7 million acres of land charred and barren.
“Again this summer, tragic governmental and environmentalist forest policies are torching millions of acres of this nation’s forests, wildlife habitat, and watersheds--while killing endangered species, and polluting the air, streams, rivers, and municipal reservoirs,” explains Smith. “The fires are also destroying homes and businesses, forcing the evacuation of entire communities, causing massive economic losses, the unfortunate death of heroic firefighters, and increasing tax-payer supported fire-fighting costs.”
Robert J. Smith has decades of experience in the environmental field. In addition to his work for CEI, Smith heads up the Center for Private Conservation where he works on wildlife, endangered species, property rights and property stewardship issues. He has served as a consultant to the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. Recent media appearances include CNN, CNBC, and Radio America.
CEI is a non-profit public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI visit the website at www.cei.org .