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vid. A smooth, rich, well-connected Goliath. Fritz’s campaign to halt clearcutting involved three stages: a preliminary hearing, a full-scale trial \(both before William Wayne Justice in U.S. District Southern Fifth Circuit U.S: Court of Appeals. The full-scale trial provides both the most intense suspense and the profoundest insights into the practice of the politics of forestry. The pre-trial hearing, however, provides dramatic foreshadowing and an overview both of conservationist criticisms and N.F.S. tactics. Gordon Robertson, a Pacific coast forester of wide experience, quickly establishes the conservationist case against clearcutting. This new, presumably superior technology obtains its goals only by: increasing the fire hazard by eliminating the canopy, with its shade and coolness, and thereby exposing the increasing the damage from insects and disease because a timber monoculture is more susceptible than a mixed forest; and thereby increasing erosion on an leaching of nutrients out of the topsoil; the natural diversity, with its genetic recreational values . . .” Hard questioning by defense lawyers, though failing to shake Robertson in his testimony, left inuendoes Sierra Club ties? money payments? suspended in the courtroom air. Compared to the pre-trial hearing, the trial turned out to be an exhausting marathon of charge and counter-charge, punctuated by ‘outbursts of deep mutual mistrust. Fortunately, courtroom warfare was both preceded and interrupted by trips to clearcut areas and struggles to find expert foresters to testify on the side of conservation. The author wisely lets the courtroom testimony build its own case, which in the end proves overwhelming. Though sworn to uphold the Multiple Use Act and to abide by E.P.A. guidelines, the National Forest Service in Texas has, under increasing pressure from forest products industries, steadily pursued a full-scale program of clearcutting and hardwood elimination. Of the 590,000 national forest acres, 556,000 are to be clearcut: that is, again, stripped of native vegetation and planted in rows of pine. To conceal this fact, N.F.S. propagandists regularly used the Big Lie Technique, claiming that there are more hardwoods on national forest lands in the Lone Star State now than there were fifty years ago. But hard to get this figure it is necessary to count the tiny green sapplings that grow out of decapitated hardwood trunks! These, in turn, are regularly eliminated by repeated burnings of cut-over areas to prevent hardwood regrowth. While forest service regulations forbid cutting at the edge of creekbeds, the Forest Service regularly ignores such regulations, regularly cutting creekside forests, often bulldozing dirt into creekbeds to make hastily-arranged bridges for heavy machinery. Forest service regulations require at least five mature hardwood trees to be left in every clearcut acre. No evidence suggests that this ratio is ever observed in practice. At the time of the trial in 1976, an N.F.S. spokesman had stated that no area larger than 200 acres was being clearcut. But investigation showed recent clearcuts of over 200 acres. \(One clearcut amounted de facto to nearly 1,000 acres, though in a large portion of that hardwoods were only poisoned with a “hypo-axe” and allowed to stand, mute and cadaverous, awaiting the N.F.S. lawyers and public relations people loudly proclaimed that recourse to older selective cutting techniques would eliminate jobs in East Texas and fatally undermine the local economy. \(LAWSUIT THREATENS ECONOMY OF WALKER COUNTY. THOU-SANDS MAY LOSE JOBS, TFA PREXY STATES, shouted a Huntsville management \(as clearcutting is mechanized and has by itself eliminated thousands of jobs, while selective cutting practices are labor-intensive and create employment. The claim, moreover, that selective cutting can not be practiced profitably hardly stands up under questioning. Profitable selective cutting forest operations can be found throughout the United States. It thus should have come as no surprise when Judge Justice ruled in favor of Fritz and his conservationist allies, upholding their injunction against clearcutting in Texas’ national forests. The National Forest Service had been found wanting, even on the basis of its own none-too-demanding guidelines. Its facade of environmental concern had been hammered away under the chisel of question and cross-question. What should have occasioned surprise what should have been but was not reported by any of the state’s newspapers was the extent to which the National Forest Service and the forestry schools turned Pine tree farm. out to be controlled, if not owned, by the lumber companies. A cynic would simply smile indulgently and point out that all “regulatory” agencies become the pawns of the industries they regulate. The question arises, nonetheless: How did the lumber companies gain control of the national forests? How could the supervisor of the national forests in member of the board of the Texas Forestry Association, the mouthpiece of the lumber industry? Why has no scientific research ever been done at National Forest Service on the potential negative effects of clearcutting? Who owns the national forests, anyhow? Who owns state forestry schools? The answers to these questions are still worth seeking. In a practical way, however, they were soon to be answered by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals \(consisting of Irving Goldberg, The Fifth Circuit court, in a hearing that lasted only part of a morning, threw out the circuit court’s ruling. Goliath had won. David, leaving the field of battle weary and scarred, wondered if he would have won with bigger guns instead of a sling. -A -A -ABUT LIFE bears an uncomfortable resemblance to a soap opera, and, like a soap opera, goes on. Just when the fight to set aside wilderness in Texas’ national forests seemed doomed by renewed clearcutting, president James Earl Carter proclaimed the Rare II program, which gave new life to national forest wilderness proposals. 26 MARCH 23, 1984