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E-M:/ OP-ED on National Forest Logging Challenge

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com

The MIning Journal
Feb. 17, 2000

Don't overlog federal lands

This letter is in response to the Jan. 29 article, "Groups file lawsuit to 
block U.P. logging."
Hurray for the Northwoods Wilderness Recovery Group for trying to halt the 
logging of hundreds and hundreds of acres in the Upper Peninsula.  It's about 
time that citizen groups stand up to the logging companies and their 
handmaiden, the U.S. Forest Service. 
The national forests are owned by us - the citizenry - and not (as they would 
have you believe) by the logging industry whose main concern is profits; nor 
by the forest service, which gets paid to sell off our timber rights.   This 
outlandish arrangement is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house. 
The question is not whether or not logging will hurt an area, but rather how 
great will be the devastation of habitat, topsoil and impact on neighboring 
Even the much touted "select cutting" leaves individual weak trees vulnerable 
to high wind and storms and leaves the earth open to erosion. 
Let the forest service put the sale of our timbers to referendum. Let the 
citizens speak for themselves. 

Mary Olmsted
Ishpeming, MI


The Mining Journal
Marquette, MI

March 02, 2000

We all use forest products. 

This is in response to the Feb.17 article, "Don't overlog federal lands."  
Boo to Mary Olmstead for applauding Northwoods Wilderness Recovery Group for 
trying to halt the logging of hundreds and hundreds of acres in the Upper 
Peninsula.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 
Evidently Ms. Olmsted doesn't use forest products. She must get her toilet 
paper from the store; it doesn't come from forest products.
The U.S. Forest Service runs a tight ship when it comes to logging. It seems 
as though Ms. Olmsted is reacting emotionally to something she knows little 
about. She just doesn't like logging. 
Extracting natural resources of any kind from U.S. Forest land is done with 
scientifically proven methods. The USFS does a good job of supervision and 
reforestation. When the human race stops using forest products we can all sit 
back and watch the timber rot on the stump.

Mike Touchinski, registered forester


Murray Dailey
Northwoods Wilderness Recovery
PO Box 122
Marquette, MI 49855-0122 

Open Letter:

re: "Dont overlog federal lands"

Mr. Touchinski's  response to "Dont overlog federal lands," and to a lawsuit 
filed by Northwoods Wilderness Recovery (NWR)  against the Ottawa NF is 
troubling.  Mr. Touchinski's lack of understanding and facts are also. 

National Forests are far more valuable to rural communities standing than cut 
down.  The federal logging program creates billions of dollars in unaccounted 
costs to communities, businesses, and individuals in addition to the $1.2  
billion annual financial losses to the U.S. Treasury.  

The $1.2 billion is just the tip of the iceberg.  The costs associated with 
polluted water from logging and mills, lost recreational opportunities, and 
degraded scenery from the federal timber program are many times that amount. 

The Ottawa NF lost an average of 164 dollars per acre logged for the years 
1993 through 1997 (high -182.00 in 1997, low -128.00 in 1995). The average 
loss, times the acreage of logging (3254) means a savings to taxpayers of 
533,656 dollars from the lawsuit filed by NWR!  The Hiawatha NF lost an 
average of $123 per acre logged for the years 1993 through 1997 (high -$228; 
low -$62). 

Ottawa Timber Staff Officer Jim Muiener has said ninety percent of the trees 
coming off the Ottawa National Forest are going towards production of paper 
products.  Logging could end today in the Ottawa with alternative fibers and 
moderate conservation measures by business and individuals.  

Less than 5% of the Nations paper and lumber needs are met from logging in 
federal forests, yet they contain much of the last vestiges of critical 
habitat for endangered and rare species and clean water supply.

Rather then spending taxpayer dollars to degrade our natural heritage, we 
should invest in programs for ecological restoration, adequate school 
funding, alternative fiber research, and vocational training in local 
communities.  The answers are all around us. 

Our National Forests were originally designated to be protected from 
industrial exploitation.  We must continue to speak out and take back our 
public lands from corporate and government domination. The federal timber 
program is a economic and ecological failure--just look around. 

Murray Dailey
Northwoods Wilderness Recovery
PO Box 122
Marquette, MI 49855-0122

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