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E-M:/ Ottawa National Forest Alert!



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Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
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Northwoods Wilderness Recovery's grass roots campaign to protect Trap Hills in
the Ottawa National Forest continues with some good news to report. A big Wild
Thanks! to everyone who has taken the time to contribute.

"Public concern has the Forest Service reconsidering a timber sale in the
Ottawa National Forest in Ontonagon County, northeast of Bergland. The sale
area consists of about 1,100 acres east of Old M-64 in a scenic area known as
the Trap Hills," writes Mike Rhea in the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette, MI.
 
Northwoods Wilderness Recovery has shown the sale to be 4400 acres and the
original Environmental Assessment says Forest Service was to log 2800 acres.
Why the discrepancy?

The High Country and Sandhill Creek sales were combined into what is known as
the Old M-64 in Trap Hills.  US Forest Service Staff Officer Jim Meunier says,
" Sand Hill Creek, which was supposed to have been advertised for bids in the
fall, will not be advertised until late summer or early fall. High Country
will not be advertised until 2000."

The pristine Old M-64 and greater Trap Hills wild lands complex are still very
much threatened, evidenced as Meunier continues in the article, "Forest
Service specialists in administering, laying out and engineering timber sales
will review the Trap Hills sale this spring to find ways to make it attractive
to loggers, even with new conditions placed on it."

Plans to eventually log contradict Meuniers own acknowledgment regarding
public support for preserving this sacred forest.  "Jim Meunier, staff officer
for the Ottawa in Ironwood, describes the area as semi-primitive, with high
elevations and a lot of rock outcrops.  A nice area. Its been one a lot of
people have expressed interest in," Meunier said of the comments the Ottawa
National Forest has received from the public. "It has a lot of resources and
values that people are concerned about and would like to see properly managed
and protected. And, we, the Forest Service, also recognize these values and
want to assure that we properly manage for those resource values." 

Meunier gives us a crass assurance that, "forest song birds such as the red-
eyed vireo, the black-throated blue warbler and wood thrush, and forest
mammals such as the pine marten, should find the tree canopy remaining after
the timber sale more livable." 

These creatures found the forest livable before US Forest Service began
selling it off and mismanaging it with Multiple-abuse. The answer to
everything for the FS is to cut.

We hear nothing about Red Shouldered Hawk, Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon, Timber
Wolf, or Lynx. Their habitat is being systematically logged, as species head
towards extinction--for junk mail, cardboard boxes, and other wasteful paper
products.

"Meunier said 54 loggers now have from three-five-year contracts to cut timber
in about 140 sale areas throughout the Ottawa. The sale areas range in size
from 40 acres to 800 acres. Most of the wood harvested is used for paper
products..." 

The fact that endangered species habitat is being clear-cut and logged for
paper products while clear alternatives for paper and fiber exist is
outrageous, morbid and illegal. 
 
Let's use this opportunity to show how much public support there is for
protecting our forests. Please call, write, or ask to meet with your
representatives, both state and national, and demand permanent protection for
Trap Hills and an end to the senseless logging of our state and federal public
lands. It will make a difference. It already has!

Sincerely,

Murray Dailey

For more information contact Doug Cornett at drcornet@up.net or Murray Dailey
at murphwild1@aol.com 

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