I am writing to ask organizations to sign onto the following sign on letter. It is concerning the protection of roadless areas in our National Forests. President Clinton announced in September that he would protect 60 million acres of public land that are roadless areas. What protection means, that is being worked out (and we want to influence it!).
We want it to be strong, complete protection from logging, roadbuilding, orv's, mining, grazing, etc. No destructive activities should go on it these core areas. There are places in MI that will be affected and protected (or logged if we lose).
To make it strong, we need to show Clinton that he has support from a variety of sources. Now we are trying to get Michigan Senator Carl Levin to write Clinton a letter stating his support for the policy.
We are also trying to head off a rider that is going to inevitably come this spring from the Western Republicans that will try to annul the policy before it is even begun. To head this off, we need to show strong support from the Senate.
So, to keep what we have in place so far, and to make it even stronger, please sign your organization (whether Student, Labor, Enviro, Religious, Scientific, etc.-we need a variety) onto the following letter!
For more information, or to sign on, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Frank Ambrose at 812-337-1631.
The Sign-On Letter for Organizations:Senator Carl Levin
Dear Senator Levin,
We are writing to you to express our concern for protecting roadless areas in our National Forests. President Clinton has announced that these areas are to be "protected." The Forest Service is in the process of developing this policy.
What the President has not done is define what "protected" means. We would like to see a policy that is developed that offers complete preservation to all roadless areas a 1,000 acres and larger, as well as smaller ecologically significant areas. By full protection, we mean that these places should be closed to logging, road-building, ORV’s, mining, grazing, oil and gas leasing, and other destructive activities.
In Michigan, only 16,000 acres have been inventoried as roadless and would be affected by the policy, as it is currently written. There are no timber sales planned for any of these areas.
There are a few places that fall in the 1,000-5,000 acre range that we would like to see protected as well. These are un-inventoried roadless areas that are not yet included in the roadless protection policy. There are timber sales planned for some of these areas. But none of these projects have been brought to the "bid" process, so canceling them will not affect what is available on the timber market.
However, there are long-term economic activities taking place in these areas that will be harmed if the Forest Service does log them. In one, the Rolling Thunder timber sale area, a cross-country ski rental outfitting business operates on trails that crisscross the area to be logged. The long-term benefits of the outfitting company to the local economy is likely to be compromised if the area is logged for short-term gain, as people go there to appreciate the beauty of the near pristine land.
President Clinton’s announcement has prompted criticism from Western Republicans, who are expected to offer a "rider" to nullify the protection these areas have been offered. This rider is likely to come up as soon as March on a supplemental appropriations bill.
We need your help to stop a rider from reversing all the positive work that has been completed to date. 26 Senators have publicly stated their support for the protection of roadless areas in writing. This is not yet enough to sustain a presidential veto of a bill with the rider attached, let alone prevent the rider from ever reaching the White House.
We request that you write a letter to President Clinton supporting the roadless policy and protection for all roadless areas. It is important that you show your support for roadless area protection to head off any rider. Now is an opportune time for you to weigh in.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
American Lands Alliance