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E-M:/ Call your Congressman today on Tree Cutting Salvage Rider

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

All good Michigan Forest Defenders should call their rep in 
the Michigan delegation in the US Congress today!!!!

Say NO to HR 2515!!!!!!!!!!!

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 07:14:51 -0800 (PST)
From: Great Lakes United <glu@igc.org>
To: asagady@sojourn.com
Subject: Forest Alert and Sign On
Return-Path: glu@igc.org

Hey Everyone...

Quick turn around on this one.  The Smith "Mother of all Salvage
Riders" bill (see HW 103) is expected for a vote on this
Wednesday.  WAFC/Earthjustice are looking for sign-ons to oppose
the bill by Monday, March 23.  This is the type of arguement that
needs to be stopped dead in its tracks - placing mature and
old-growth forests in permanent peril..Calls and sign-on needed

TO:           All Forest Activists
FROM:     Steve Holmer & Rick Taketa, Earthjustice Legal Defense
DATE:       March 19, 1998

SUBJECT:  Vote on Smith Forest Health Bill Wednesday

                        Sign-on Letter to Oppose H.R. 2515

     We are expecting a vote on Rep. Bob Smith's Forest Health
bill, H.R. 2515 this Wednesday, March 25.  Your pressure can stop
this forest health legislation.  Please contact your
Representative at 202/224-3121 and urge him/her to oppose the
Smith Forest Health bill, H.R. 2515.  

     We will also be sending the following sign-on letter
opposing the Smith bill on Tuesday, March 24.  If your
organization would like to sign-on, please contact Steve Holmer
at 202/879-3188 or email wafcdc@igc.org by close of business
Monday, March 23.  Thanks!


OPPOSE H.R. 2515

March 24, 1998

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Member of Congress:

As representatives of the environmental community, we are writing
to ask you to oppose a piece of legislation that is a
prescription for increased logging on our country's National
Forests under the guise of "forest health."  That legislation,
H.R. 2515, is the latest in a series of proposals that have been
based on the mistaken assumption that there is a nation wide
"forest health" crisis and that increased logging is the

You heard this rationale last Congress, when it was first used to
bolster the Clearcut Salvage Rider which suspended all
environmental safeguards to increase logging on every National
Forest for 18 months in the name of "forest health."  The results
were devastating.  Communities across the country were polarized,
hundreds of timber sales were sold that never could have gone
forward without the Rider, and live, healthy forests were logged
as "salvage."

H.R. 2515, like the Clearcut Salvage Rider, seeks to increase
commercial logging and use "forest health" as the excuse. 
Similar to the Rider, H.R. 2515 would attempt to short-circuit
scientific analysis and public participation as required under
existing environmental laws.  Under the guise of "forest health,"
H.R. 2515 attempts to take the following steps to increase
logging in our National Forests:

7 Denies citizens a meaningful voice in the management of our
National Forests by severely limiting public participation and
judicial review.  First, H.R. 2515 attempts to declare that the
identification of "recovery areas" does not constitute an "agency
action," and therefore, those decisions would be exempt from
administrative appeal, judicial review, public comment and
scientific review in accordance with environmental laws like NEPA
and the Endangered Species Act.  Second, by establishing
truncated time frames for making subsequent final decisions in
regards to the chosen treatment(s) via "recovery projects" to be
administered in the recovery areas the bill attempts to
create a further defacto exclusion of meaningful public comments
and potentially critical site specific scientific analysis.
7 Creates a powerful economic incentive to cut bigger, older
trees by establishing a new fund in the Forest Service that would
be replenished through revenues generated by "forest health"
activities.  Economic returns would become a major factor in
deciding which "forest health treatments" to administer in the
identified "recovery areas" -- creating an incentive for
commercial logging and a disincentive for non-revenue
producing management activities, such as prescribed burning and
pre-commercial thinning.

H.R. 2515, and the broad new authority it grants the Secretary,
is unnecessary.  The Forest Service already has the authority to
implement legitimate activities, including prescribed burns,
insect and disease control, riparian and watershed improvements,
soil stabilization, replanting, and thinning.   In fact, many of
these activities were granted categorical exclusions in the final
NEPA regulations adopted by the agency in 1992.

Moreover, H.R. 2515 is unwarranted because there is little
scientific evidence that the National Forests are suffering from
a national "forest health crisis" -- or that logging is a cure. 
Recently, the Forest Service concluded that:

"The nation's forests are generally in a healthy condition. 
While each region does have a variety of health concerns in need
of attention, a listing of these concerns should not be
interpreted as a description of a forest health crisis."

Scientists with the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project have said
that logging has increased fire severity more than any other
human activity due to increased fuel accumulation and changes in
local microclimate.  

A scientific assessment by the federal government's Interior
Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP) found that
current salvage logging practices are "not compatible with
contemporary ecosystem-based management."

It is not environmental safeguards that need to be compromised in
the name of restoring forests as H.R. 2515 proposes, but instead
it is logging, grazing, and other extractive activities have
caused the real forest health problems on individual forests
within the National Forest System.   Rather than pass new
legislation eliminating citizens rights, creating unnecessary
bureaucracy and promoting more off-budget spending by the Forest
Service, it would be wiser to address legitimate forest health
needs through the on-going appropriations process.  By
cutting subsidies for logging and grazing and redirecting the
remaining portions of the forest Service's $3.3 billion budget,
Congress could provide more than adequate funds to address
genuine forest health needs. 

To promote healthy ecosystems within our National Forests,
Members of Congress should promote less, not more, commercial

We urge you to oppose H.R. 2515.  Thank you for considering our



Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund 
Western Ancient Forest Campaign

Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

Western Ancient Forest Campaign
1025 Vermont Ave. NW  3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
202/879-3189 fax

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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