No, Bush and his cronies were not actually chopping down Sequoias with their bare hands... but they were pushing hard to start logging 2000 acres of centuries-old conifers in the Sequoia National Monument. Fortunately, a judge "called into question" their scientific rationale and stopped the project. As Sacramento Bee reports:
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, ruling in a lawsuit brought by environmentalists, also questioned whether fire control was the government's real motive for allowing commercial logging in the monument. The so-called "Saddle Project" was approved years ago, but cutting only commenced this summer, when timber prices were high.
The government, Breyer wrote late Friday in issuing a preliminary injunction barring further logging, "waited five years to execute this contract because of unfavorable timber prices."
In 2000, just after the project was approved, Congress declared Sequoia National Forest a national monument, which generally prevented further logging on thousands of acres in the Central Valley area of Tulare County. The government argued the project was grandfathered in and therefore not covered by monument rules.
The Judge in this case had no difficulty seeing through the Administration's phoney arguments about "Healthy Forests" to what was really at statke: greed. This is a shameful episode in Bush's so-called "environmental" policy--and kudos to Judge Breyer for putting a stop to it.