WHAT WENT WRONG: In the summer of 2002, lightning strikes and high winds combined to burn nearly half a million acres across southwest Oregon in the Biscuit Fire. With three decades' experience as a firefighter and postfire planner, Rich Fairbanks was tapped to lead the recovery effort. While Fairbanks's interdisciplinary team of 17 forestry experts sought balance between ecological restoration and timber harvest, officials in Washington pressured his supervisors, who boosted logging targets from 90 million board feet to 370 million board feet.

THE HEAVY: Undersecretary of Agriculture (and former timber lobbyist) Mark Rey.

THE PRICE: Fairbanks retired in 2005. He now works for the Wilderness Society.