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E-M:/ Protect wildlife Now! on our National Forests

Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <fambrose@bloomington.in.us>

Hey there again,

Sorry for the load of emails, but... I forgot to mention the
Robb/Cleland/Binaman amendment about the Forest Service's need to survey
for wildlife on the National Forests. (details below)

As currently written, the bill would eliminate the Forest Service's
responsiblity under law to do this. The Robb amendment would remove that
clause, and keep the status-quo. 

If the Robb amendment fails, then we will be faced with another salvage
rider -unrestricted logging for whatever the Forest Service wants to say

Please call Sen. Levin today and urge him to support both of these
amendments. 202-224-3121.

Frank Ambrose
Help Protect Clean Water, Fish and Wildlife on the National Forests  

Support the Bryan/Fitzgerald and the Robb/Cleland/Bingaman Amendments

	When the Senate resumes consideration of the Interior Appropriations bill
two important amendments will be offered that seek to protect the National
Forests and the clean water, and fish and wildlife they provide for all

	The Bryan/Fitzgerald Amendment would cut $33 million in timber and road
subsidies that were added to the Forest Service's requested budget in
Committee in the Senate, return $13 million to the Treasury, and invest the
remaining $20 million in National Forest road maintenance and fish and
wildlife programs.

	The Robb/Cleland/Bingaman Amendment would strike the Sec. 329 rider
undermining wildlife surveys on the National Forests and Bureau of Land
Management lands. 

Clean Water on the National Forests

	In a recent speech "The Forest Service: World's Largest Water Company,"
Forest Service Chief Michael Dombeck assessed the value of water on National
Forest land to be more than $3.7 billion per year.  "This $3.7 billion does
not include the value of maintaining fish species, many other recreation
values, nor the savings to municipalities who have reduced filtration costs
because water from National Forests is so clean.  Nor does it account for
the millions of visitor days where people are fulfilled by the simple act of
walking besides a cool clear stream, river, or lake.  Healthy watersheds
that produce high quality water also provide for a long-term sustained yield
of other good, values and services."

	"Roads are the greatest threat to water quality on the National Forests,"
according to Undersecretary of Agriculture Jim Lyons.  Currently the Forest
Service only maintains 18% of the roads each year resulting in erosion that
undermines water quality and harms fish by filling the streams with
sediment.  The Bryan/Fitzgerald Amendment restores $11 million for road
maintenence requested by the Forest Service.

Fisheries on the National Forests

	Trout Unlimited estimates that productive fisheries on the National Forests
yield $8 billion annually.  According to the Forest Service, recreational
anglers fished more than 37 million days on National Forests in 1995, with
trip related expenditures of $1.8 billion, providing employment for over
60,000 people.  However, many trout and salmon species that inhabit the
National Forests are declining and at risk of extinction.  

	The Bryan/Fitzgerald Amendment provides $9.6 million is additional funds
for fish and wildlife management programs.  The Fisheries program
inventories and monitors the health of fisheries habitats and restoring
damaged fish habitats where possible.  The Inland Fisheries Management
Program protects and restores fish habitat of inland species such as trout
in the Inter-mountain West, bass in the Southeast, and walleyes in the upper
Midwest.  The Anadromous Fisheries Management Program protects and restores
fish habitat for Pacific salmon.

Wildlife Surveys on the National Forests

	In 1995, National Forest lands provided 33.3 million wildlife activity days
and 330,000 jobs, according to the Forest Service.  Expenditures from
hunting trips supported 18,900 local jobs and generated sales and income
taxes of $22.6 million.  National Forests and Grasslands are also an
increasingly popular area for bird watching, nature photography and nature
study.  According to the Forest Service, wildlife viewing is the fastest
growing wildlife use and opportunity.

	Without adequate wildlife surveys and monitoring, the Forest Service has no
way of knowing what impacts logging or other management activities have on
the population of individual species or on the broader ecosystem.  The
Robb/Cleland/Bingaman Amendment would ensure scientifically-sound forest
management by striking the Sec. 329 rider.

	In two recent court cases, Federal Judges have ruled that the National
Forest Management Act requires the Forest Service to carry out wildlife
surveys.  In the Southeast, the court found the Forest Service must, by law,
carry out wildlife surveys for "indicator" species which are used to judge
the health of numerous other species on the forest.  In the Northwest the
court found that the Northwest Forest Plan requires the Forest Service to
survey for species in old growth forests prior to logging.  According to the
Forest Service, no intervention by Congress is required to effect full
implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan's survey and manage program.

	Votes for the Robb/Cleland/Bingaman Amendment and the Bryan/Fitzgerald
Amendment will ensure that the Forest Service complies with the law to
conduct necessary wildlife surveys and that more resources are made
available to the important fish and wildlife programs which protect these
valuable resources on our National Forests.  

Support the Bryan/Fitzgerald and the Robb/Cleland/Bingaman Amendments

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