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Hastings Environmental Law Journal

Authors

John Meyer

Abstract

Logging is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Every unnecessary timber sale by the Forest Service contributes to our climate change crisis. While President Barack Obama has stated his intention to have science guide the decision-making process, he recently allocated half a billion dollars for logging projects under a statutory framework that lacks scientific grounding. After an introduction, the article will look at the Healthy Forests Restoration Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - a framework that encourages the Forest Service to continue polluting our atmosphere. Part III will look at the historical statutes responsible for creating the agency’s institutional memory - one that has either elevated timber harvesting above conservation measures, or afforded the agency the discretion necessary to make the choice. Part IV will survey the current statutory provisions applicable to the Forest Service to demonstrate why the agency refuses to pick up the ball on climate change. Part V will look at how the public trust doctrine can be used to require the agency to do its part in fighting global warming.

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