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Re: E-M:/ Borrowed Time Timber Sale



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Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>
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Dear Chris, Alex and Emichers,

I wanted to respond to Chris Savage's comments below.  Although I did not
write the action alert, I did author the Administrative Appeal.  I, of
course, continue to stand fully behind the appeal and its contents.  We feel
strongly that the current Borrowed Time project violates both the National
Forest Management Act (NFMA) and the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA), as well as the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  But most of all, it
violates common sense, good science and proper land management principals
for our public lands.  (p.s. this is a rather long message).

Specifics:

1)  As for the designation issue:

Chris wrote: (relaying Theresa Chase's comments)

">I would also like to take this time to correct some inaccuracies regarding
> information about the Borrowed Time Project Set.  This project is NOT
located in
> a semi-primitive nonmotorized recreation area.  It is across a county
maintained
> road from a semi-primitive motorized area. "

Yes, Northwoods made a mistake here.  Again, while I was not the author of
the alert, I will take full responsibility and personally apologize for this
error.  However, I would point out that the logging does abut the entire
northern border of the boundary of the 6.2 Management Area (the
Semi-Primitive Motorized Area Theresa Chase refers to in the note).
Unfortunately for wildlife and ecosystem status, the presence of a road does
little to ameliorate off-site impacts of the proposed logging and, in fact,
only exacerbates fragmentation issues between the 6.2 area and the wildland
complex to the north and east.  Sadly, I didn't include the fact that the
logging abuts the 6.2 area in the appeal.  I will definately raise the issue
in future correspondence with the Forest Service on this and other projects
in the area.  Still, a mistake is a mistake and I again apologize for this
error.

I would also like to point out that every alternative formally analyzed in
both the March, 1999 Borrowed Time Project Set Environmental Assessment (EA)
and the previous draft and final EAs (in 1995 & 1996) included massive
logging along the entire northern border of the Big Island Lakes Wilderness.
This is an 8.3 Management Area.  That is defined by the Forest Service's
1986 Forest Plan map as lands that will: "Emphasize secluded wildlife
habitat, wetland plant communities, dispersed recreation, and even and
uneven-aged management."  (note: "management" means logging).  Given the
Forest Service's own admission that the Borrowed Time Project Set is located
in one of the most important remote habitat areas on the Hiawatha NF (the
8.3 MA), I wonder why it is not a Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized Area in the
first place.  (heck, its got one of the lowest road densities for an area of
its size on the entire forest).   The final decision permits over a thousand
acres of logging along the Little Indian River (the largest tributary of the
Indian River National Scenic river).  Unfortunately, the Little Indian river
is the boundary of the 8.3 MA in the Borrowed Time area.

I also urge all of you interested in this issue to request a map of the
proposed alternatives and the final alternative selected by the Hiawatha in
August of this year.  You'll see how this logging project will create a
major disturbance between the 6.3 (SPM) MA and the 8.3 (secluded/remote) MA.
You will also see what exactly what the preferred alternative's do: log the
heck out of much of the forest adjacent to the northern boundary of the Big
Island Lake Wilderness.  You all should note that this would have been
exactly what happened if Northwoods, Sierra Club, Michigan Biodiversity
Project, and Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition hadn't appealed the
first proposal and if Sierra Club and myself had not made extensive comments
on the 1999 Borrowed Time proposal.  Thank God we have saved this area from
industrial logging to this point.

These maps would also help you all to understand exactly how much logging
was proposed along the northern and northeastern boundary of the Big Island
Lake Wilderness area in all alternatives analyzed by the Forest Service
under NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act).  It would also show everyone
how the logging comes within a half mile or so of the Big Island Lake
Wilderness (T44N, R18W, Sec 7 and surroundings).  Because the ecological
values of Wilderness do not stop on artificial border (in this case a road),
the proposed logging will definately impact the entire wildland complex,
including the Wilderness Area.   Folks who are interested in this issue
should also take a look at our previous appeal of the first Borrowed Time
Project Set proposal (1996).  There you will get some explanation of the
boundaries for the Scott's Marsh, Big Island Lake, Indian River wildland
complex.  The wildland at risk here includes the 6.2 area,  the Indian Wild
and Scenic River (and its tributaries too) and the wetland complex to the
northeast.  The rough boundaries are; Highway  H-13 on the west, M-28 on the
north, M-94 on the east and the Alger/Delta county line on the south.  Of
course, this area is connected to the big wetlands to the east (which is why
it is critical for lynx recovery) and the Smith creek wetland complex to the
south (via the Indian River corridor).

As for the Wild and Scenic River Issue:

Chris wrote:  (relaying Theresa Chase's comments again)

>This project is located almost four
> miles north of the Indian River Wild and Scenic River Corridor, not
adjacent to
> it.

The following is the action alert wording for you all to take a look at once
again:

"Big Island Lake, Scott's Marsh and Borrowed Time are located within a
massive wetlands complex that feeds the Little Indian River, Indian Wild
and Scenic River and other rivers flowing to Lakes Michigan and Superior.
The area provides thousands of acres of remote habitat for rare species
such as Canada Lynx, Eastern Cougar, Eastern Timber Wolf, Pine Marten,
Northern Goshawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Bittern and Wood Turtle.
These species are at risk from the cumulative effects of Borrowed Time,
Outing, Ipora and numerous other timber sales in the western unit of the
Hiawatha.
The Forest Service has failed to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) for this important remote wildlife area.

The Borrowed Time cut will negatively impact recreation opportunities in
Big Island Lake Wilderness, Scott's Marsh and the Indian River corridor.
This area receives thousands of visitors each year and is a popular
destination for hiking, canoeing and fishing.  The Forest Service limits
the expansion of Wilderness recreation by logging to the edge of protected
areas, within the boundaries of Wild and Scenic River corridors and within
semi-primitive areas."

I do not see where the action alert states the logging will be in the Indian
River Scenic River Corridor at all.  Thus, I am not sure what Theresa Chase
is refering to by stating the distance of the Borrowed Time Project Set in
her response to Chris.  There is ample evidence that both the Hiawatha and
Ottawa NF's are logging in river corridors protected by the Wild and Scenic
River Act, however and that is what the final sentence refers to.  Also,
there is lots of logging in the so-called Semi-Primitive areas throughout
both the Hiawath and Ottawa.  But then again, there is that annoying
ecological reality of upstream tributaries affecting downstream portions of
rivers and streams......

I would say that the "truthfull" response would have given some indication
of the Forest Service's recognition of the Continuum Concept in lotic
ecosystems (rivers and streams).  Thus, even if the logging is not directly
in the corridor (Ms. Chase's Outing Project did, in fact, including logging
directly in the Indian River corridor, however), by impacting the Wild and
Scenic River's largest tributary (already subject to logging along much of
its length, by the way), it does impact the recreation and ecological
conditions in the Scenic River.  Perhaps taking a look at the facts again
would indeed help us all.

In conclusion, I will once again apologize for the error in listing the
designated MA type for the Borrowed Time project set.  That was unfortunate.
However, it should do nothing to lessen the concerns of the conservation
community.

A final thank you again for the support and kind words we have been
receiving concerning this appeal and the other appeals of wasteful and
environmentally-destructive logging projects on the national forests in
Michigan.

Sincerely,

David J. Zaber
dzaber@chorus.net


----- Original Message -----
From: Alex J. Sagady & Associates <ajs@sagady.com>
To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Friday, August 27, 1999 3:56 PM
Subject: E-M:/ Borrowed Time Timber Sale


> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Forwarded bounced message from Chris Savage......
>
>
> Received: from ctmx.chemtrend.com ([12.28.112.100])
> by superior.great-lakes.net (8.8.7/8.8.7) with SMTP id QAA06374
> for <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>; Fri, 27 Aug 1999 16:45:42 -0400 (EDT)
> Received: by ctmx.chemtrend.com(Lotus SMTP MTA v4.6.4  (830.2 3-23-1999))
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> From: "Chris Savage" <csavage@chemtrend.com>
> To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> Message-ID: <852567DA.0071E8F8.00@ctmx.chemtrend.com>
> Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 16:37:16 -0400
> Subject: Borrowed Time Timber Sale
> Mime-Version: 1.0
> Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Content-Disposition: inline
>
>
>
> At the advice of Doug Cornett, I sent a letter to the Appeal Deciding
Officer
> for the Borrowed Time timber sale (see
> http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/1999-08/msg00024.html for the
> orginal posting) supporting the appeal of Northwoods Wilderness Recovery,
David
> Zaber and Mr. Cornett himself.
>
> Today I received the following reply.  I must admit to feeling a bit
foolish for
> sending my letter without first checking the facts which appear to have
been
> either inaccurate or at least somewhat exaggerated by Mr. Cornett's
posting.  I
> still support the appeal but I would much rather have explained my support
with
> facts that I could stand behind.  A word to the wise about showing support
for
> something without checking things out for yourself first,  I suppose...
>
> I'm curious if any of the appealants can truthfully counter the statements
made
> by Ms. Chase in the following letter.
> --------------------------------------------
> Subject:  Borrowed Time Project Set Appeal
>
> Dear Interested Party,
>
> This letter is to inform you of a conference call between the Forest
Service and
> appealants regarding the Borrowed Time Project Set Environmental
Assessment.  We
> have scheduled the call for Monday, August 30 at 3:00pm.  As an interested
> party, you are welcome to join us at the above address to sit in on the
> discussion.  Please contact me at 906-387-2512 if you would like to
attend.
>
> I would also like to take this time to correct some inaccuracies regarding
> information about the Borrowed Time Project Set.  This project is NOT
located in
> a semi-primitive nonmotorized recreation area.  It is across a county
maintained
> road from a semi-primitive motorized area.  This project is located almost
four
> miles north of the Indian River Wild and Scenic River Corridor, not
adjacent to
> it.
>
> In the final decision for the Borrowed Time Project Set, all activities
directly
> to the north of the wilderness area were dropped.  As can be seen on the
> attached map (hard copy only), a portion of the Borrowed Time Project Set
falls
> close to, but not adjacent to, Big Island lake Wilderness.
>
> If you would like the a copy of the Environmental Assessment and Decision
Notice
> please contact our office.  Thank you for your interest in management of
the
> National Forests.
>
> Sincerely
>
> TERESA CHASE
> District Ranger
>
>
>
>
>
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