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E-M:/ Senator Levin and Forest Roads



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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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Thanks for the Michigan Environmental Council for posting the notice about the
need for calls to Senator Levin on the Bryan Amendment to the Interior
Appropriations bill.  This ought to be an automatic YES vote for Senator
Levin, from both a state perspective (the impact in our three National
Forests) and from a national perspective.  It appears it may come up for a
vote tomorrow (Wednesday), but because no one I know of who contacted Senator
Levin's office has actually gotten a call back it is impossible to tell how he
plans to vote.

The Detroit Free Press editorial today (Tuesday Sept 16) provides a quick
synopsis of why Michigan really doesn't need this.  This won't prevent timber
companies that need to build a road to get at a timber sale from building it
-- it will simply stop the U.S. taxpayers from rewarding the loggers by giving
them a kickback for doing it.  And with regard to recreation, the roads being
built with Purchaser Credits (trees for roads) in Michigan, as I understand
it, will mostly be closed after being constructed because of excessive miles
of roads already in the forests. With close to 10,000 miles of roads on these
forests already, there is no need for new roads, in fact closing many miles is
a high priority.  These road won't be obliterated, but will be "closed" until
the next time a timber sale in the area needs access.

Which makes it really unclear as to why the timber industry seems to have gone
all out on this issue, as far as we can tell providing grossly exaggerated
information about the impact in Michigan, significantly misrepresenting the
truth to our elected officials.  Its almost as if it is a test to just show
off to their buddies in the west that they can knock off some Michigan
Congressional Members and Senators, who by all rights, from both a fiscally
conservative and environmentally sound standpoint, OUGHT to vote for the Bryan
amendment.

Does anyone out there have feedback directly from Senator Levin's office on
this issue?


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