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E-M:/ Shep advocates biodiversity protection!



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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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Enviro-Mich:                                                                    
                                                                                
Many of you are familiar, at least by name, with the North Woods Call, a        
decidedly opinionated newspaper published by Glen Sheppard and his wife Mary    
Lou out of Charlevoix.  I want to call your attention to the top editorial in   
the Jan 27, 1999 issue, and urge all of you to support what Glen is talking     
about here.  He has issued a call for getting resource professionals dedicated  
in every State Forest area to assess the impact of timber and other activities  
on biodiversity, and he deserves support.  While I know it is not appropriate   
normally to republish copyrighted materials, I would guess Glen would not       
object to spreading his message, especially if some of you subscribe to his     
paper as a result!                                                              
                                                                                
Letters can go to The North Woods Call, 00509 Turkey Run, Charlevoix, MI        
49720, or call Glen or Mary Lou at 616-547-9797.                                
                                                                                
Anne Woiwode                                                                    
                                                                                
                                                                                
"Turtles: Let's factor them into our forests
                                                                                
'Ecosystem management.' 'Bio diversity.'                                        
                                                                                
Those, and other promises broadening the scope of natural resource management   
became buzz words in the 1990s.  One initiative after another was announced     
with fanfare.                                                                   
                                                                                
In recent years the national forests have started to deliver, focusing more on  
the big picture, and the broad array of opportunities, rather than remaining    
fixated on timber and game production.                                          
                                                                                
Not so on Michigan's two million acres of state forest land. And not because    
state forest managers are any less competent or less dedicated than national    
forest managers. Because they have a political mandate to meet the demand of    
mill operations and deer hunters, state foresters and biologists have not been  
given the tools -- including manpower -- or flexibility to factor in ecosystem  
management or bio diversity.                                                    
                                                                                
Their critics howl and wail against industry driven logging and lack of         
initiatives to identify and preserve old growth and natural areas.  Yet they    
fail to see to it that the managers receive the resources, and incentives, to   
broaden their effort so they can give dickey birds, salamanders, grasslands     
and wildflowers equal priority with pulpwood and venison.                       
                                                                                
Conservation groups, from mighty Michigan United Conservation Clubs to the      
Resource Stewards and local unaffiliated nature clubs, must unify in support    
of an initiative that would give bio diversity top rank on our state forests.   
                                                                                
We suggest that initiative focus on putting a resource professional on each     
forest area who is assigned to develop proposals and review others proposed by  
traditional foresters and game managers.                                        
                                                                                
They should be assigned to field offices, not district offices.  They should    
be on-the-ground workers.  Not office workers.                                  
                                                                                
They would work under the mantle of the Dept. of Natural Resources' Natural     
Heritage program.  They would review, and be charged with challenging, logging  
or game habitat prescriptions that overlook bio diversity opportunities.        
                                                                                
They would assure that logging trucks, and ORV trails, are not running through  
turtle habitat.  That natural areas are identified and designated.  That those  
spring time upland hardwood wetlands researcher Terry DeBruyn has found         
critical to bear are not violated.  Not ony would they nix new roads that       
imperil butterfly habitat, they woudl get old ones closed to protect that       
habitat.                                                                        
                                                                                
And, because they would be working for all the people of Michigan, not          
primarily loggers or hunters, they would be funded with general state tax       
money.                                                                          
                                                                                
This is do-able if conservationists come together to make it a top priority.    
If we make those 64 new House members know their reelection depends on those    
of us who care about Michigan's soul.                                           
                                                                                
John Engler's PAC contributors will continue to own our state forests -- and    
you! -- only if we let them."                                                   
                                                                                
                                                                                



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