I have been following the blog of misdirected epithets in The Herald against the environmental community over federal Judge John Coughenour’s 25-page decision ordering the removal of the Green Mountain lookout. Judge Coughenour simply reviewed and applied the law properly realizing that wilderness trumps manmade structures. In his decision, the judge found that the Forest Service:
•Erred egregiously by not conducting the required analysis before embarking on such an aggressive course of action as completely removing the lookout and then replacing it using helicopters and motorized equipment in the wilderness area.
Failed to take proper account of the mandates of the Wilderness Act.
Violated the sustentative provisions of the Wilderness Act and violated NEPA’s procedural requirements.
Took unreasonable actions.
Judge Coughenour is far from being a left-wing environmental liberal. He was a Ronald Regan appointee; the same president that said, “If you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen ‘em all” and “trees cause pollution.”
Instead of railing against the environmental community, anger over the judge’s order should be directed to the U.S. Forest Service, and particularly National Forest Darrington District Ranger Peter Forbes.
It is high time that the USFS replaced Forbes with a district ranger who will obey the law when it comes to managing our national forest. Hopefully the USFS will obey the judge and promptly put forward a plan to remove this faux lookout as soon as the snow melts.
President Lyndon Johnson said upon signing the 1964 Wilderness Act, “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”