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E-M:/ protect forests and stop global warming with one call

There is a new rule-making effort in process that could either hurt or help forests in a major way. It is the Kyoto-protocol/global warming treaty that the US signed a year or so ago. The Clinton administration is working to develop rules on how to deal with forests (both public and private) in the rule.
Why forests? Because they hold carbon dioxide, which when emitted is a leading cause of global warming. What is at issue is whether or not the rule is favorable to forests or favorable to timber industries. What the industry wants the rule to say is that young plantations hold more carbon and are better "sinks" of carbon than older, more 'decadent' forests. This is a lie. Older forests, particularly old-growth forests are holding more carbon, and pull in more carbon from the air than young mono-cultures do, and they are natural forests to boot. The timber industry wants to reward their business-as-usual clearcuts and industrial plantations under the protocol. This is especially important for MI because there are so many industry lands and many areas with trees are not forests but rather pine plantations/deserts--this could encourage people to keep land in native forest with a long rotation, rather than short rotation for pulp.
Of course, the administration is leaning towards the industry's side (when do they ever do the right thing without some pain and pressure?). We are trying to make them realize that protecting forests is the responsible thing to do, both for the forests and politically. They need to hear from you!
July 18 is a national call in day for people to voice their concerns to the responsible beaurocrats and politicians. Roger Ballentine is the man behind the plan and has the power to make the changes we want to see. Please call him at 202-456-1782 on July 18 and tell him to protect forests and stop global warming through the Kyoto agreement. You can also call your representative and senators and tell them to help stop global warming and protect forests by also calling Roger Ballentine.
More details and facts and figures of this fairly complex issue are attached below. Please refer to them for more in depth information. If you have further questions, please contact me at 812-337-1631 or email me at fambrose@bloomington.in.us

Frank Ambrose

Protect Our Forests! Slow Global Warming!

Forests and climate change are closely linked. Conserving forests can mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. As they grow, forests actually take the gas carbon dioxide (CO2) - the main cause of climate change - out of the atmosphere and store it in leaves, stems and soil.

In addition to providing clean water and vital habitat for many plants and animals, old-growth and late successional forests take far more CO2 out of the atmosphere than do short-rotation, industrial timberlands. We now have an exciting opportunity for climate change policy to protect forests and for better forest management to reduce climate change.

However, the timber industry is fervently working to lock-in forest rules under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that will reward short-rotation tree farming and other "business-as-usual" timber projects. The following key points emphasize the urgent need for forest protection in order to ensure the maximum offset of climate change:

GET INVOLVED!! PROTECT OUR FORESTS, SLOW GLOBAL WARMING! Write a letter to Roger Ballentine, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Initiatives, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20500 and tell him you want to see the above points include in any regulations on climate change.

Host a letter writing party, hold a call in day on July 18 to Roger Ballentine (202-456-1782), organize a press event! There are many things you can do to protect our forests and curb global climate change. To get more involved or for more info contact:

Frank Ambrose, American Lands Midwest Organizer 116 S. College #10, Bloomington, IN 47404, 812-337-1631, fambrose@bloomington.in.us

1 .Harmon, Mark E., Ferrel, William K., Franklin, Jerry F., Effects on Carbon Storage of Conversion of Old-Growth Forests to Young Forests, Science, Vol. 247, 699 – 702, (1990).

2 Willer, Chuck, Community Based Forestry and Corporate Forestry, a Comparison, Coast Range Association, Corvallis, OR (1999)