BLM suspends funding for forestry research that contradicts Bush policy

The Bureau of Land Management has abruptly suspended funding for a team of scientists who published findings undercutting a Bush administration timber policy. The Oregon State University researchers’ report, published last month in the journal Science, suggested that forests scorched in southwest Oregon’s 2002 Biscuit fire recovered more quickly if left alone to regenerate, rather than being logged and replanted. OSU administration says it has no doubts about the integrity of the research. The funding suspension is “totally without precedent as far as I can recollect,” said University of Washington forest researcher Jerry Franklin. “It says, ‘If we don’t like what you’re saying, we’ll cut off your money.'” However, federal officials deny the action was political retaliation, saying the researchers violated some terms of the funding agreement. For instance, part B, subsection E4, where it says “don’t effing cross us, punks.”