"Many of these trees were my friends!"

Treebeard wept as Bush continued his "War on the Environment" yesterday by authorizing new rules which will allow the raping of our 192 million acres of national forests. The Washington Post:

"The end result of all this is there will be more logging and less conservation of wildlife," said Mike Leahy, natural resources counsel for Defenders of Wildlife. "They're not going to provide enough land for these species to hang on."

The rules give "economic activity" increased importance; reductions in mandated studies on the impact on endangered species; and regulations on logging have been relaxed. Studies on forest species of fish and wildlife will no longer be required before stripping.

One-quarter of U.S. species at risk of extinction -- including more than 25 species of trout and salmon -- live in national forests, according to the conservation group NatureServe. Large animals such as grizzly bears, wolves and elk depend on the forests' large, undisturbed swaths of land for habitat.

Over-all, this is an environmental policy roll-back to the '70s, erasing rules put in place by Reagan, Bush 41, and Clinton. There aren't words to describe how heinous this action is. It's a shameful day for America and a tragic era for our planet.