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Re: E-M:/ RED ALERT!!!!!

Enviro-Mich message from fenner@PioneerPlanet.infi.net (Ray Fenner)

So let me get this straight. I can't post this message on Enviro-Mich
because it is "off topic"? Do you realize what this can do to Michigan's
national forests? Good God, if there is anything that was ever more "on
topic", it is this.

Ray Fenner
Executive Director
Superior Wilderness Action Network

>Material like this is off-topic on EM unless some michigan specific
>information is included, such as key Michigan policians on the
>issue and who to contact in the Michigan delegation, specifics on
>how the issue affects Michigan, etc.

>At 01:32 PM 6/24/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>>Enviro-Mich message from fenner@PioneerPlanet.infi.net (Ray Fenner)
>>>The Rider to eliminate the US Forest Service's duty to survey for Proposed,
>>>Endangered, Threatened, or Sensitive (PETS) species has been attached to the
>>>Interior Appropriations Bill!  Without population surveys for PETS species,
>>>the USFS has the ability to conduct a timber sale in an area that without
>>>assessing the impacts to endangered species.
>>>A Feb. ruling in GA confirmed the Forest Service's duty to collect
>>>population data for sensitive and management indicator species and suspended
>>>logging operations on the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia until the
>>>agency has species data.  The Rider (sec. 329) is a direct effort to undo
>>>this decision (the language of the Rider mentions the case by name).  The
>>>Rider proposes a system of total discretion to the Forest Service on species
>>>monitoring through the year 2000. The Senate Subcommittee on Interior
>>>Appropriations met Tuesday and attached the rider to the Interior Approps
>>>bill.  The Full Committee is scheduled to meet on Today!
>>>Without warning or public involvement, the Senate is preparing to undo a
>>>decision that it took years of public involvement and debate to establish
>>>and reverse a federal court of appeals' interpretation of the law. At a time
>>>when dialogue across interest groups about common ground (stewardship,
>>>monitoring, and how to pay for it) is increasing, Congress is taking us back
>>>into red alert.
>>>Here is the text of the "Blind Extinction Rider":
>>>"Sec. 329. For fiscal year 2000, the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect
>>>to lands within the National Forest System, and the Secretary of Interior,
>>>with respect to lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land
>>>Management, shall use the best available scientific and commercial data in
>>>amending or revising resource plans for, and offering sales, issuing leases,
>>>or otherwise authorizing or undertaking management activities on, lands
>>>under their respective jurisdictions: Provided, That the Secretaries may at
>>>their discretion determine whether any additional information concerning
>>>wildlife resources shall be collected prior to approving any such plan,
>>>sale, lease or other type of activity, and, if so, the type of, and
>>>collection procedures for, such information."
>>>The report language says:
>>>"the language ensures that the FS and BLM retain sole discretion to
>>>determine whether to conduct costly and time-consuming surveys before each
>>>land management decision they are expected or required to make under the
>>>NFMA and FLPMA respectively, and to determine the type of; and collection
>>>procedures for; any such information they choose to collect. The duration of
>>>this provision is limited to FY 2000."
>>>This rider is very broad— worse than we originally thought.  It removes NEPA
>>>’s mandate to collect information to ensure that decisions affecting the
>>>environment are fully informed.
>>>Background on how the rider surfaced at a recent subcommittee hearing:
>>>The field hearing of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Dept Operations,
>>>Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry in Medford, Oregon on June 21, involved
>>>Congressmen Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and
>>>Congressmen Thompson.   It became quickly apparent in the Congressmen's
>>>questions that their interest lay in two areas:
>>>1) a memo sent to USFS regions advising them to suspend planning on any
>>>projects that could be affected by a lawsuit filed by environmental groups
>>>alleging failure to implement the Survey and Manage Program.
>>>Chairman Goodlatte seemed keenly interested in learning who wrote the memo,
>>>who was on the phone call that resulted in a withdrawal of the memo, what
>>>the revised memo will say, and why Chief Dombeck allowed the memo.
>>>2.  After establishing the detrimental effect that the Survey and Manage
>>>requirements have had on getting the cut out, the Subcommittee then began to
>>>question the panel about their opinions on the need to conduct Survey and
>>>Manage (S&M) or to allow public involvement in land management.
>>>The logic they guided the panel through:
>>>a) S&M is required where disturbance is planned, not where it is not
>>>b) disturbance happens on a small percentage of the overall federal land
>>>c) we should assume that the species also exist on the rest of the land base
>>>and is thereby protected;
>>>d) S&M is an open invitation to lawsuits and injunctions and was entered
>>>into forest plans without time for public response;
>>>e) the uncertainty of S&M process is effecting an impact worse than the ESA;
>>>f) the economic needs should not be overshadowed by the need for
>>>g) appeals on management activities should be limited or prohibited.
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