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E-M:/ Campaign for Regional EIS on Chip Mills Bearing Fruit

Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <snakeman@expert.cc.purdue.edu>

I would like to encourage as many groups as possible from Michigan to sign
on to this letter.  Chip and paper mill are having tremendous impacts on
Michigan's forests and waterways. A study like this in North Carolina
could "open the door" to one in the Northwoods, which aare being desroyed
by wood pulp corporate interests.  This is also interesting because it
will evaluate both private and public lands(something that has not been
done to this extent before).

For the Forests,
Frank AMbrose
American Lands Alliance
Midwest organizer

From: Steve Holmer <wafcdc@igc.apc.org>
Subject: Campaign for Regional EIS on Chip Mills Bearing Fruit

TO:       All Activists
FROM:     Steve Holmer & Danna Smith, The Dogwood Alliance
DATE:     July 15, 1998


     Key federal agency delegates met in late June to discuss forest
issues affecting the Southeastern U.S. including the impacts of chip
mills.  As a result of this meeting, a team of four agency officials will
make recommendations to the joint agencies by late August.  This
action has the potential to lead to a region-wide study of chip mill

     Your sign-on to the following letter to Vice President Al
Gore could be the one to leverage the support we need to solidify
federal action toward a moratorium and region-wide chip mill
impact study.  We would like to get as many organizations as
possible to sign on to this letter.  We want to show Vice President
Gore the breadth of support across the country for our efforts to
protect the forests of the southeast from the degradations of the
chip mill industry.  

     Please respond ASAP to John Johnson, Outreach
Coordinator - Dogwood Alliance, 423 624 3939 or email

Late August, 1998

The Honorable Albert Gore, Jr.
Vice President of the United States
Old Executive Office Building
Washington, DC 20501

Dear Vice President Gore,

The undersigned groups represent the diverse interests of thousands of
people from across the Southeastern, United States and around the
country who are vitally concerned about the proliferation of chip mills.
We believe that there is a need for a temporary moratorium on
permitting new chip mills until the full range of chip mill impacts are
thoroughly understood and a unified federal policy towards chip mills is

We urge you to help to solidify immediate federal action toward a 
moratorium on the licensing of any new chip mill or chip mill support 
(log loading) facilities and federal action towards a multi-agency, 
region-wide study of the environmental and economic impacts of chip 

We remember and applaud your support of the 1992 Tennessee River
chip mill Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the only study of its
kind ever done to address the cumulative environmental impacts of chip
mill-induced logging on the greater Tennessee Valley ecosystem and its
economy.  As you may recall, as a result of the EIS, three chip mill were
denied permits based on findings of significant potential impacts to water
quality, wildlife habitat and threatened and endangered species.  Since
there are at least 140 chip mills now operating in the Southeast and since
100 of them have been constructed in the last decade and none of them have
been evaluated for their off-site logging impacts, we now urge your support
of a comprehensive multi-agency, region-wide chip mill impact study, to
bring together better information so that communities and decision makers
can address this issue. 

We are encouraged that both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Fish
and Wildlife Service have begun a preliminary look at this
issue.  We are also encouraged that North Carolina's Governor James
Hunt has mandated a state chip mill impact study - the first of its kind -
and that the Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with the
state in  undertaking the study.

We appreciate these steps, and we believe that more needs to be done.  If
the North Carolina study is successful, its framework will become a model
for other state studies in the future.  Unfortunately, the money raised for
the precedent setting study is insufficient and the  successful outcome of
the study hinges upon the expertise and funding assistance that can be
provided by other agency sectors.  Please reinforce the need for more
federal participation and support for this study and the need for a regional
assessment and moratorium. 

Citizens and agencies alike are unable to effectively legally address the
essential problem of the off-site, indirect impacts of chip mills, because
of the narrow interpretation of National Environmental Policy Act and
the exclusion of forestry from the Clean Water Act.  Since no  federal
or state agency has direct jurisdiction over the chip mill issue and all
have a limited nexus, a collaborative approach to a regional assessment
is necessary.  If we continue to take a piecemeal approach to this issue, as
we are now, forests and watersheds will remain  unprotected.  In the long
run, a collaborative, comprehensive approach, rather than a case by case
approach, will be more efficient in gathering information and developing
potential solutions.  It will also help eliminate the costly and divisive
site-by-site battles being waged to protect economies and our environment
from chip mill induced deforestation.  Citizens are
currently being forced to use local, state, federal laws, and ultimately
the court system, to seek relief.

The World Wildlife Fund has reported that much of the region
impacted by chip mills is already critically endangered, and a
significant portion is "globally outstanding ... requiring  immediate
protection or restoration."  The destruction of Southern forests parallels a
broader  global pattern of increased consumption and deforestation.  Across
much of the South, softwoods are being logged faster than they are growing
back, and a similar predicament is predicted for hardwoods within the
decade.  Though many forests are recovering from turn of the century
clearcutting, Southern forests and aquatic ecosystems are increasingly
threatened by the shift in the timber industry from the West to the South
that is partially manifested in the proliferation of chip mills.

>From an economic perspective there are more sustainable and profitable ways
for private landowners to use their forests, in many cases, than
clearcutting them on short rotations for chips.  A coalition of sawmillers
and hardwood manufacturers clearly made this case several years ago in
opposing three proposed chip mills on the Tennessee River.  They showed that
selective management can return more to the landowner, produce more jobs and
do less damage to ecosystems. 

Unfortunately most landowners are woefully unaware of different
management options and their ecological and economic implications. 
More information is clearly needed on the impacts of chip mills and the
tradeoffs between them and more sustainable industries.

We appreciate that federal agencies have begun to look at this issue,
and we thank you for  your attention to this.  We urge you to address
this issue, and we look forward to your response to the Dogwood
Alliance at your earliest convenience. 


For more information, contact Dogwood Alliance, PO Box 1598,
Brevard NC, 28712, 828/883-5889 ph, 828/883-5826 fx,

Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands Alliance
1025 Vermont Ave. NW  3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
202/879-3189 fax

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