clearcut.gif(MSNBC) President Bush’s budget proposal calls for raising more than $1 billion over five years by selling off public lands deemed to have little scenic, recreational or resource value, drawing criticism from environmental groups.

Mystech: It’s ok, because we can replace the lost forest with ones captured in the pending invasion of Venezuela (pretty sure that’s just Chavez’s smoke and mirrors). Incidentally, the estimated $1 billion from the land sale would pay for about 5 days of the budget deficit created by the cost of the war in Iraq (to date, not including interest, late fees, surcharges or frequent flyer miles).
“When Western residents wake up to the fact that the Bush administration has a … scheme to divest the public of its lands, I don’t think people are going to like that very much,” Dave Alberswerth, a public lands expert with The Wilderness Society, told The Salt Lake Tribune.

U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officials say the sale of parcels, including isolated tracts that can be hard to manage, would allow them to operate more efficiently and generate new revenue for operations.