Hot Weather, Deadline to Comment on Forest Service Rule Changes Extended, Endangered Species Act Gutted, Stan Helton Shares Millage Rates Comparison

We’ve had some very hot days, with the hottest being 88 on our porch. That’s very unusual, but if we do have it, it’s usually in August. Of course, it was 98 in Atlanta at the time, so things could be worse.

The deadline for comments on the proposed Forest Service rule changes that will cut the public out of the planning process has been extended until August 26.

Here’s an article from the AJC on the rule changes, which essentially aim to put environmental advocacy organizations like Georgia ForestWatch out of business. The Forest Service has been angry with these organizations for years, as their historical mandate is timber production, not recreation. The article includes a link to the government site where you can comment.–regional/forest-service-plan-would-speed-timber-projects-national-forests/15pNeGfqZXPstrY7T97dmJ/

The Forest Service employees view themselves as experts and the environmental organizations as tree-hugging amateurs who don’t know what they’re talking about. Here’s an article from the Washington Post from a former Deputy Chief of the Forest Service explaining why that perspective is wrong.

The Washington Post has a pay wall, of course, but they let you see a certain number or articles a month. If you can’tview it, you might be able to on another computer. (I’m paying $10 a month for my online subscription.)

In other environmental news, the Endangered Species Act has just been gutted.

Finally, Fannin County Commission Chairman Stan Helton emailed me a comparison of county millage rates that shows that Fannin’s is the lowest statewide. This is only part of the tax story, of course, as the school systems in Georgia also assess a millage rate that is a larger part of your tax bill.

Fannin, 4.176 (lowest statewide)

Towns, 5.197

Union 6.153

Gilmer 6.983

Pickens, 7.846

Lumpkin, 11.053

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