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E-M:/ Sign on and let Gore know you want Roadless areas protected

Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <fambrose@igc.apc.org>

Hey Michiganders,

Sign your group on to the following letter to let Gore know that he 
should be advocating protection for our National Forests. As you have 
seen in recent weeks, Michigan's forests are being hammered. This is 
something small, yet powerful you can do to protect these invaluabel 

If you want to sign your group on, or would like some questions answered, 
let me know.

Frank Ambrose
American Lands Alliance


Please sign your organization on to the letter which follows endorsing the
protection of all roadless areas in our National Forests.

We anticipate that, on or about November 16, the Administration will begin
to implement the long awaited road building moratorium on some Forest
Service roadless areas. It is really important that about that time, Vice
President Gore hear from the environmental community and our friends that
this policy doesn't go far enough in protecting remaining National Forest

American Lands is participating in a national campaign, under the direction
of Ken Rait of the Oregon Natural Resources Council, to achieve protection
for all roadless areas 1000 acres or larger.  The campaign is calling these
roadless areas "America's Heritage Forests," and has adopted the following
campaign statement (the Statement will accompany the letter to Vice
President Gore):

Letter Header:
America's Heritage Forests are at risk.  America's Heritage Forests
comprise just one-third of all the land managed by the U.S. Forest
Service and are not protected from logging, road building, and mining.
These scenic, unprotected wilderness areas provide unmatched
opportunities for camping, hiking and other recreational pursuits,
valuable habitat for fish and wildlife, and abundant supplies of clean
drinking water.  The Forest Service must implement a policy to
permanently protect America's Heritage Forests, consisting of all
remaining roadless areas 1,000 acres and larger(and other smaller 
ecologically significant areas), from 
logging, road construction, mining and other damaging activities.  We have a
responsibility to future generations.  We must permanently protect our
scenic Heritage Forests as parks and wilderness.  Once they're gone,
they're gone forever.

We are seeking 500 signatures for the following letter from environmental
groups; scientific groups and scientists; education organizations; and
representatives of the faith community.  Please sign on the letter by
responding to Frank Ambrose at <fambrose@igc.org> by November 8th.
Thanks for helping to protect our National Forest roadless areas!

Dear Vice President Gore:
On January 22, 1998, the Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck announced an
interim policy placing an eighteen-month moratorium on the construction
of new roads in some roadless areas on national forest lands. This
interim policy is the first phase in Administration plans for a
comprehensive transportation policy for forest lands that will be
developed over the course of the next 18 months. As a centerpiece of
this effort, the Forest Service should adopt a policy that accords
permanent protection to America's Heritage Forests, roadless areas 1,000
acres and larger, from logging, road construction, mining and other
damaging activities.
America's Heritage Forests serve a variety of important public values.
They are sources of our cleanest drinking water and some of our most
important fish and wildlife habitat.   They are a haven for the human
spirit and a wellspring of future wilderness areas.
Last fall, in his statement accompanying the 1998 Interior
Appropriations Act, President Clinton said, "(t)he Forest Service is
developing a scientifically based policy for managing roadless areas in
our national forests.  These last remaining wild areas are precious to
millions of Americans and key to protecting clean water and abundant
wildlife habitat, and providing recreation opportunities.  These
unspoiled places must be managed through science, not politics."
On December 10, 1997, 169 scientists wrote a letter to President Clinton
saying, "(I)n our view, a scientifically-based policy should, at a
minimum, protect from development all roadless areas larger than 1,000
acres and those smaller areas that have ecological significance because
of their contributions to regional landscapes."  
Despite this, on January 22, Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck announced
an interim policy that explicitly exempts vast tracts of America's
Heritage Forests located in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, amongst
others.  Additionally, it does not protect smaller, ecologically
significant roadless areas.  The interim policy allows logging to
continue in roadless areas through helicopter timber sales and
ground-based logging techniques that do not require roads, and does not
protect roadless areas from oil and gas development activities, or
illegal motorized activity.  Although President Clinton envisioned a
sweeping roadless area protection initiative, Forest Service Chief Mike
Dombeck appears headed down a path that will provide no substantive
protection to our Heritage Forests, despite overwhelming public opinion
plus Chief Dombeck's own observations to the contrary.  
The American public understands the importance of protecting our
Heritage Forests. A recent nationwide voter opinion survey conducted by
Celinda Lake and commissioned by the Wilderness Society found that 65
percent of voters support a proposal to "stop all timber cutting in
roadless wild forest areas."   In the survey, 68% of Democrats, 60% of
Independents and 64% of Republicans supported a halt to logging in these
areas.   Similarly, 69% of respondents in the Northeast, 61% in the
Midwest, 64% in the South and 66% in the West supported a logging
moratorium in scenic, unprotected wilderness.  Forest Service Chief Mike
Dombeck recognizes the importance of our Heritage Forests.  
In a July 1 letter to all Forest Service employees on Conservation
Leadership, chief Dombeck said, "(v)alues such as wilderness and
roadless areas, clean water, protection of rare species, old growth
forests, naturalness-these are the reasons most Americans cherish their
public lands... (T)wenty percent of the National Forest System is
wilderness, and in the minds of many, more should be.  Our wilderness
portfolio must embody a broader array of lands-from prairie to old
growth.  As world leaders in wilderness management, we should be looking
to the future to better manage existing, and identify new, wilderness
and other wild lands."  Before you, Vice President Gore, lies an
unprecedented opportunity to leave a legacy of Heritage Forests for
future generations.
We urge you to adopt a final policy at the termination of the 18-month
moratorium that forever protects America's Heritage Forests, roadless
areas 1000 acres and larger on all national forests, from logging, road
building off-road vehicles, mining and other damaging activities.  With
the dawning of the new millennium, this is the least we can do for
future generations. 

Ken Rait, Conservation Director
Kr@onrc.org <mailto:Kr@onrc.org> 
Oregon Natural Resources Council
503-283-6343, Ext. 210
http://www.onrc.org <http://www.onrc.org> 

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