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E-M:/ Michigan Timbermans Association Defends Multiple Abuse!



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Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
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Greetings,

A response from Peter Grieves, executive director of the Michigan Timbermans 
Association, to a guest opinion peice I wrote. I have included my original 
first.

Murray Dailey 

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The Mining Journal
Marquette, MI


re: "Dont overlog federal lands", by Murray Dailey

Forester Mr. Touchinski's  response to "Dont overlog federal lands," and to a 
lawsuit filed by Northwoods Wilderness Recovery (NWR) and Heartwood 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 national 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
Executive Director
Northwoods Wilderness Recovery
PO Box 122
Marquette, MI 49855-0122

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The Mining Journal
Marquette, MI                            Saturday, April 15, 2000


Forestry Manages Resource


This is in response to the April 4 letter by Murray Dailey of Northwoods 
Wilderness Recovery and in defense of the letter of March 2 by Mike 
Touchinski.

As executive director of the Michigan Timbermans Association of Timbermen for 
the last 28 years, I have worked closely with state officials, our national 
forest leaders and private citizens in the forest industry.

First, let us review the facts:

1.  Michigan leads the nation in surplus forest source. Proof: Fifth Michigan 
Forest Inventory and Analysis. (FIA 1993)

2. Increase of 35 percent in tree volume and 1 million more acres (7 percent) 
of forests in 13 years. Proof: FIA studies.

3.  Harvesting less than 45 percent of annual growth.  Proof: FIA studies.

4.  Adding value and creating opportunities in Michigan's $12 billion forest 
economy. One of 15 of manufacturing jobs are as a result of Michigan 
Forestry, Proof: Studies by Sustainable Development Roundtable.

This is a success, unless you are committed  to seeing our forest lands 
developed into a vast wilderness area as envisioned by supporters of the 
Wildlands Project.  Advocates believe it is necessary to set aside 50 percent 
of our land for development into a pre-settlement conditions to protect the 
biodiversity of this country. Their first target is to move all public land 
into this condition with restrictive land management practices that exclude 
forest management for timber products, other commodities and motorized 
recreation. The average use of these lands is seen as a threat to this 
"natural condition" and they feel access should be limited. For more 
information, go to ww.epi.freedom.org/maps.htm.

Mr. Dailey claims that vast amounts of money are lost on national forest 
timber sales, FACT: 95 percent of national forest revenues come from timber 
sales and only 40 percent of the budget is used for this work. Much of that 
40 percent budget is due to added regulations, appeals and lawsuits brought 
by preservationist groups.

The national forests were never meant to be national parks. The US congress 
in at least four major laws has decided that the national forest have 
multiple uses. Currently, less than 35 percent of our national forest are 
managed for wood products. Timber production is cited as major use that 
benefits the entire public who want a steady supply of wood products. 


Here are some things that should be considered. how will the national forests 
pay for their other work if we stop harvesting trees? Where will the timber 
come from to meet the public's demand for wood?  Why is it wrong to practice 
forestry on public lands originally designated to grow wood products for this 
purpose? We of the forest community support and practice sound forest 
management. So should you. Our jobs, our lifestyle, and our lives depend on 
it.

Peter Grieves, executive director 
Michigan Timbermans Association


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