Are They Rocky Mountain High?
Another one from the Believe-It-Or-Not Department: Colorado officials want to increase clear-cutting to help solve the state’s drought problem. Removing trees would allow more snow to fall to the ground, where it would run off into streams in the spring, providing enough new water to supply as many as a million families, says Kent Holsinger, the top water official at the state Department of Natural Resources. Colorado Gov. Bill Owens (R), a powerful Colorado representative to the U.S. House, and key Bush administration officials are all excited about the idea. They say the logging-for-water plan would kill two birds with one stone, increasing water resources while also reducing the risk of forest fires (no trees = no fires — get it?). Environmentalists say the plan would only increase flooding and damage mountain streams. “This is beyond harebrained,” says Chris Wood, a top U.S. Forest Service advisor during the Clinton years.