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Re: Re: E-M:/ Regarding Humbug Marsh

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com

Mr. Zaber,

Thank-you for making some very valid observations. I would simply add, or ask
further, why MUCC has opposed nearly all timber sale appeals in the Ottawa and
Hiawatha National Forests? 

Three of the appeals filed by Northwoods Wilderness Recovery have been opposed
by MUCC. While I understand that MUCC caters to interest groups such as the
hunting and fishing folks, especially for funding, it is very difficult to
understand how they can do good work on some issues that you mention, yet fail
to take a strong stand, or any stand, against devastating logging practices by
the US Forest Service and their corporate masters. 

Northwoods Wilderness Recovery has extensive documentation, both on film and
in documents, which shows that our streams and rivers are being filled with
sediment from soil erosion due  logging roads and logging operations.

Our Public Forests and lands are accessible by thousands of miles of what the
Forest Service and companies such as Mead, Champion, Aspen, and others call
roads. (The road they punched into the east ridge sale in the Trap Hills is
one of the worst logging roads I have seen in a while. Sure enough the road
led to one of our last groves of old growth adjacent to a drainage)

These so called roads the US Forest Service builds for these corporations are
paid for with our tax dollars. They fail miserably as roads. The vast majority
are so poorly engineered that they move directly over streams, wetlands, and
tributaries and rarely are they constructed to prevent soil erosion, one of
the main consequences of road-building and clear-cutting in our dwindling
forests. I have seen hundreds of such instances. (They just point the
bulldozer towards the profit and go, though timber sale planners will try and
convince you otherwise with "our sales are better today" spin)

I have yet to see one stream, tributary or river in the UP--including those
designated under the US Wild and Scenic Rivers Act--that has not been impacted
with sediments from "roads". 

The Forest Service portrays roads as part of a multiple-use plan, but everyone
should know the main function is for intensive management including clearcuts,
shelterwood cuts, 2-staged shelterwood cuts, and seed tree cuts. We do not
need thousands of miles of roads to hunt, fish or backpack.

What does all this soil erosion mean? It means our waterways are being ruined
as natural hatcheries. When sand replaces or fills the natural gravel beds in
our rivers and streams, the DNR simply stocks them with such species as pike
or walleye. Those predator species then eat what few naturally spawned trout
remain from those extremely rare gravel beds.

When roads are built and a forest is cleared without complying with the law,
rivers, tributary streams, coastal areas and open lakes are all affected. Add
to this the heavily used herbicides after forest "treatments", acid rain, and
our 11,000 inland lake toxic fish advisory, and we are talking serious
environmental degradation.

With the degradation of a river or a stream's ability to produce life on its
own, we put in place a bureaucracy like the DNR--perpetual guardians who
require the expenditure of money to keep the system going. Imagine just the
tax money we'd save if rivers functioned naturally again.

What does the DNR do when on of these companies puts in an illegal road or
drives a bulldozer or feller buncher over a small stream or wetland? Nothing
like it would do to a small private property owner. They don't have to worry
about the little guy taking them to court, hiring his own experts, or simply
buying his or her way out.

These companies are getting away with subsidized destruction of our natural
forests while Forest Service managers and bureaucrats conspire to impose a
strict conformity within the agency to the politics and demands of the
industry. Damn the law or enforcement of it. 

How many in the public are mislead to think that the FS is out there
monitoring every logging operation? 

It is very hard to understand how MUCC, who is accountable to the money and
support of anglers, angler outfitters and organizations, can explain away the
weak position they have traditionally taken in protecting our forests and
water ways within them. 

MUCC owe much more to Michigan's recreationists considering they are putting
themselves "out there" as leaders in conservation. Help us protect our public
lands and forests. 

We  have enough grouse and whitetail deer, and this is simply no longer a
credible argument for opposing forest protection. 

Murray Dailey

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