opposition by applying the economic logic of self-interest tonthe political process. Recognizing that political obstacles tonbase closings were costing the public billions of dollars, Mr.nArmey devised a strategy that would waive the restrictions ofnO’Neill-Cohen (which mandated a comprehensive andncostly environmental impact study before a base could benclosed) and force Congress to confront closure. Under hisnplan, a commission studied and assembled a list of bases thatncould be closed without harming our nation’s security.nCongress then had to accept the bases as a package, closingnall of them or none at all.nThe National Forest System and national defense systemnhave many characteristics in common. They both:n— provide highly visible jobs in the communities wherenthey operate;n^have units widely dispersed throughout the country;n—j-have some units (national forests and military bases)nproducing a public good and others producing “publicnbads”;n—rhave polihcal constituencies and economic ramificationsnthat make it difficult to shut down individual units.nI suggest that we apply the Armey strategy to the nationalnforests, to close down commercial timber management innthose ranger districts of national forests that consistently losenmoney. First, as happened in the closing of the militarynbases, a commission composed of individuals with broadnexperience in business, government, and in this case,nconservation and forestry, would be created. Such a diversencomrnission will likely protect both environmental qualitynand economic efficiency, and our foremost objectives will benrealized; to halt below-cost timber sales, ease the burden ofnthe taxpayer, and protect the environment.nThe commission’s first task would be to identify rangerndistricts that do not make money from their timber andnrecommend that these districts be closed. These lands are ofncourse valuable for their wildlife habitats, watershed protection,nand as recreational areas, and they should be protectednaccordingly.nMy next step goes beyond the Armey plan and advocatesnthe transfer of profitable ranger districts to parties that willnmanage them better. Hence the second task for thencommission would be to identify profitable sites and preparenthem for auction. The best managers of timberlands arenprivate timber companies and institutional investors, such asnpension funds and insurance companies, interested innlong-term investments. They must, however, have incentivesnto protect the lands in which they are investing.nSuccessful bidders on what are now federal lands wouldnhave to accept constraints on herbicide and peshcide use,nrestrictions on the cutting of old growth timber, recreationalneasements, and protechve buffers along watercourses.nOnly the Forest Service’s distorted bureaucratic logic seesnclearcutting and the building of erosive logging roads asnenhancing aesthetics, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection.nInstead of maximizing the value of the larids itnmanages, the Forest Service maximizes its budget. Itsnbehavior is not the result of evil, stupid, or incompetentnpeople, but is the consequence of the centralized, bureaucratizednnature of the institution — a nature that can benchanged. The public choice model inspired by CongressmannArmey provides an effective method for doing so.nnNOT ALL ENVIRONMENTALLSTS ARE THE SAMEn. .^ SHADE OF GREEN “^n-««»•nFREE offers:n• conferences and seminars for academics,nbusiness leaders and writers;n• speakers for universities and meetings;n• policy reports;n• publications:na newsletter, FREE PerspectivesnThe Green BlueprintnThe Yellowstone Primern26/CHRONICLESnDespite worldwide acceptance of free market solutions, and thenfailure of central planning, most American environmentalistsnadvocate governmental management of our environment. ThenFoundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, :nFREE, offers a more effective approach. FREE’s work has shownnthat free enterprise, private property rights, and the market processncan produce economically effective and environmentally sensitivenoutcomes.nn Please send me information on FREEnn Please send me a publication listnNamenAddressnCity. State -Zip.nFREE, 502 S. 19th, #1, Bozeman, MT 59715nFREE is a 501(c)(3) educational and research foundation.n*Some of us are red, white and blue.nnn