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E-M:/ Michigan Forests



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Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
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Wilderness Society Report Highlights Michigan's Trap Hills


The Wilderness Society, in cooperation with 26 other conservation groups,
including Northwoods Wilderness Recovery (NWR) released -America's Forest
Heritage at Risk- a report which identifies 24 wild forest roadless areas
teetering on the brink of destruction.

Michigan's Trap Hills, home to the proposed Old M-64 logging operation in the
Ottawa National Forest, is one of  24 areas included in the report. The
pending Old M-64 Hardwoods logging operation, within Trap Hills, contains the
largest, unprotected, old-growth forest tract left in the Ottawa National
Forest.

The Trap Hills Provide habitat for a number of Threatened, Endangered,
sensitive and rare plants and animals including Peregrine Falcon, Northern
Goshawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Wood Turtle, Fairy Bells, Braun's Holly Fern,
Male Fern and Prairie Buttercup. The area is fast becoming known as a
biological "hot spot." The Trap Hills was also a release site for the
Peregrine Falcon, which began in 1998 and continued until 1990. Peregrines
have returned each year and have successfully nested three times since 1990.

The North Country Trail and the Gogebic Ridge Trail traverse the area. This
area is a crucial link between Sylvania Wilderness and Porcupine Mountains
State Park for species migration and a core, corridor, buffer wildlands
strategy.

The Administration in January 1988 proposed a 18-month moratorium on road
construction in roadless areas. The purpose of the moratorium was to protect
roadless areas while long term changes to the national transportation policy
were developed. The Forest Services draft interim rule to include "other
unroaded areas, regardless of size, identified in a forest plan" would not
provide an adequate mechanism for including RARE II areas smaller than 5,000
acres. In eastern NF's, many of the roadless areas identified in RARE II, and
those that were missed in RARE II, are smaller than 5,000 acres.

There is no valid scientific rationale for exempting any roadless area in the
National Forest System from the draft moratorium of final policy and the
moratorium explicitly gives regional foresters the authority to include areas
like Trap Hills in a Moratorium. As for economics and the importance of public
participation and the appeals process, Chief Dombeck states:

"Number one is the economics of the issue. From the standpoint of a business
investment, a great deal of organizational energy goes into these roadless
areas. We put a lot of money into these projects only to see them litigated
and appealed at a much higher rate than the others. The level of controversy
associated with them escalates and they are costly to conclude." (Excerpt from
the March, 1998 Interior Approp Hearing book #9 for FY99)

Please join us in setting a standard and reaching for success. Please take a
few minutes and write a letter of support for including the Tap Hills and Old
M-64 sale in the FS interim Roadless Area Moratorium. Use the information
above and your personal experiences to tell the Forest Service why the Trap
Hills are important to you and our future. Let's get it done! Let's win!

Contacts: Doug Cornett at NWR (drcornet@up.net) or Murray Dailey at GARD
(murphwild1@aol.com) for further info.

Please send your letters to:

Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck
Auditors Building
201 14th Street SW, Room 4 NW
Washington, DC 20250

Phyllis Green
Forest Supervisor
Ottawa National Forest
E6248  US 2
Ironwood, MI 49938
906-932-1330

USDA Forest Service
Bob Jacobs
Regional Forester
310 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53203
414-297-3170

Comments also may be sent to the Chief via the Internet to:
roads/wo@fs.fed.us.

Please cc all letters, calls and emails to you congress people.

You can access the press release and full report at:
http://www.wilderness.org/standbylands/forestreport/

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