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E-M:/ Ottawa Roadless Informational Meeting

Enviro-Mich message from "David E. Allen" <dallen@nmu.edu>


I attended the Roadless Area Policy DEIS informational meeting last 
night.  It was held in Ewen, in the doughnut hole of the Ottawa NF - not 
exactly a center of conservation, nor of freedom of thought.  The agency 
people did a good job under trying conditions - kudos should go to:
Phyllis Green, Forest Supervisor
Jim Somerville, her assistant
Bob Brenner, forest planner
Randy Charles, public affairs officer
Rob Fallon, road engineer on the Chequamegon - Nicolet and National Team 

Brickbats and over-ripe tomatoes should go to Stupak - yes, my 
congressional representative even though he and I differ 180 degrees on 
forest policy.  The meeting started off polite enough, and we got through 
the formal presentations in good style.  But after the break, they let 
Stupak speak.  Basically, I think that Stupak wants no restrictions on 
access.  While he claimed to have no problems with Norwich Plains, he 
stated that he was concerned about other (uninventoried) tracts (note that 
the DEIS is pretty clear how these will be handled).  He thinks that 
Roadless is somehow inextricably linked to Transportation (still thinks 
that there is a hidden agenda in the roadless policy to make unroaded 
areas).  He wants local decision making (but, it sounds, only on his terms; 
only by his friends, with no consideration of national interest).  But as 
he commented on - still claiming that Mike Dombeck somehow slandered the 
people and communities (when he, himself, in other venues, has said the 
same thing) the tenor turned anti forest service.  First, against those 
Washington bureaucrats (didn't Denver do the DEIS?), and then more against 
the local FS people.  These comments seemed to energize the attendees so 
that the q&a session was more a comment session for the wise use movement.

As an aside - the only things that makes Stupak look good are his opponents.

Folks - the agency needs our support on this matter.  The Do-Nothing 
alternative 1 is simply unacceptable.  I support the preferred 
alternatives, even though I believe that the more restrictive prohibition 
alternatives might be better, and I strongly support the procedural 
alternative D (project-by-project until plan revision).  I agree with the 
FS about the Tongass delay - once again, any of the three is better than T1 
- No Action.

If you can, show up at the meetings.  If you can't, write anyway.  Do it 
Chicago style - early and often.

More info and comment sending at
including who to write to, etc.  Or write to:
USDA Forest Service-CAET
Attention: Roadless Areas Proposed Rule
P.O.Box 221090
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84122

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