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George W. Bush's Healthy Forests: Reframing the Environmental Debate
     

George W. Bush's Healthy Forests: Reframing the Environmental Debate

by Jacqueline Vaughn
 

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In George W. Bush's Healthy Forests, Jacqueline Vaughn and Hanna J. Cortner detail how the Bush administration, by changing the terms and processes of debate, sidestepped opposition and put in place policies that restrict public and scientific involvement in environmental decisions. Their groundbreaking study analyzes the context and legal effects of the

Overview

In George W. Bush's Healthy Forests, Jacqueline Vaughn and Hanna J. Cortner detail how the Bush administration, by changing the terms and processes of debate, sidestepped opposition and put in place policies that restrict public and scientific involvement in environmental decisions. Their groundbreaking study analyzes the context and legal effects of the Healthy Forests Initiative, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, and related regulatory changes.

The authors show how the administration used news events such as wildfires to propel legislation through Congress. Focusing blame for wildfires on environmentalists' use of appeals to challenge fuel-reduction projects, the administration restricted opportunities for environmental analysis, administrative appeals, and litigation. The authors argue that these tools have a history of use by diverse interests and have long protected Americans' right to question government decisions.

This readable study identifies the players, events, and strategies that expedited the policy shift and contextualizes it in the president's career and in legislative and administrative history. Revealing a policy change with major implications for the future of public lands and public process, George W. Bush's Healthy Forests will fascinate readers interested in the environment, politics, the Bush administration, and current affairs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"George W. Bush's Healthy Forests reads like a textbook for political activists, arguing that the most important part of any political strategy is to craft a simple, persuasive message that demonizes opponents while it points to your preferred policy as the only solution to major problems. Vaugn and Cortner note that, having won this battle over forest policy, congressional Republicans have attempted to use the same strategy of blaming environmentalists to promote their agendas on grazing, mining, and other issues."
Forest Magazine

"Vaughn and Cortner argue that the weakening of environmental laws was by design, not a byproduct of budget cuts. . . . The authors argue that the Bush administration succeeded because it cast environmentalists as 'nuts' and 'extremists,' in spite of the fact that many environmental groups have long supported thinning of small trees around communities at the wildland-urban interface."
High Country News

"Cortner's appeals database offers a reality check to the notion that appeals are misused and have contributed to 'analysis paralysis.'"
Forest Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870818172
Publisher:
Univeristy Press of Colorado
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Pages:
231
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.44(h) x 0.82(d)

Meet the Author


Jacqueline Vaughn is a professor of political science at Northern Arizona University and author of several books on environmental issues, including Environmental Politics and Green Backlash. Hanna J. Cortner, president of Cortner and Associates , coauthored The Politics of Ecosystem Management, co-edited State and Nature, and has held professorships at Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.

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