Diversity efforts at risk
“Natural diversity in ecosystems provides essential economic benefits and services to human society” such as food, clothing, shelter, fuel and medicine,“ as well as ecological, recreational, cultural and aesthetic values, and thus plays an important role in sustainable development.” Chevron’s Biodiversity Statement, April 2012, http://www.chevron.com.
Sadly, our representatives in Lansing reject such science-based wisdom. On Jan. 24, Sen.Darwin Booher co-sponsored Senate Bill 78, which would: prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from managing public lands for the purpose of achieving or maintaining biological diversity; delete conservation of biological diversity from forest management objectives; and eliminate the requirement to manage forests to promote restoration. No wonder the League of Conservation Voters ranks Sen. Booher near the bottom of the pack.Regrettably, this assault on Michigan’s forests and public lands passed the Senate March 5 with only Republican votes. SB78 is now pending in the House of Representatives. The League of Conservation Voters ranks Rep. Ray Franz even lower than Senator Booher, so there is little reason to expect him to vote to preserve the biological diversity of Michigan’s public lands.Will Gov. Snyder veto SB78? We don’t know.
Jay S. Johnson