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USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue was in Missoula June 12 posing with Greg Gianforte and others and pushing his agenda to further exploit public lands. His "memorandum" calls for streamlining of environmental review, expediting logging for "forest health," increasing access to public land, prioritizing grazing on national grasslands and pushing for even more oil and gas development. Of course, Sen. Daines is supporting this approach too.

The Forest Service keeps getting sued and their projects get stopped in court because they break the law all the time. So here's Perdue's solution, instead of following the law, let's streamline the process (meaning undermine environmental laws) and place more pressure on already stressed federal employees to hurry up and pillage public forests, minerals and grasslands, all while ignoring the social and environmental costs of such a pushy approach.

We have seen this before, from every administration, acting as if public lands are the Horn of Plenty that can do everything. But no one is making more land, and our federal forests and grasslands need to be left alone rather than further plundered. Perdue's memo is desperate and meaningless posturing from a failing administration. 

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Phil Knight