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Fwd: E-M:/ request for feedback



Elizabeth- Good for you, glad you are looking to be heard.

1) In my discussions with lawmakers, the efficacy of surface vs. email depends on how the individual lawmaker feels about email.  Some more tech-savvy lawmakers are more likely to read and be influenced by email.  I suggest contacting the local office of your governmental representative and asking the staffers there point blank if the person you are trying to reach 'likes' email.

3) My experience with letters to the editor is that they like 'em short.  They WILL edit.  You can make the decision of what they keep and what gets cut by editing the letter yourself before you send it.  I sit down and write everything I want to say, and then I trim it down to about three paragraphs of 3 or 4 sentences each.  Short letters are more likely to be printed AND read.

Good Luck!

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Enviro-Mich message from Bethloos@aol.com
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Hi everyone!  

I have a couple of questions I know you can help me with.

1) When writing to your representatives in Washington, is there any consensus 
on whether a surface mail letter has more impact than an e-mail message?

2) Does anyone know if the national or state Sierra Club wants to see copies 
of any responses you receive to your letters about campaigns discussed in Sier
ra or The Macinac?  Amnesty International always says to forward any 
responses you receive to them, so I wondered if the Sierra Club had a similar 
policy. 

Also, I have just written a letter to the editor that I plan to send to the Gr
and Rapids Press.  I have never written a letter to the editor before, so I 
don't know if this is an appropriate submission.  I am going to copy it here, 
and I would really appreciate any feedback from anyone who has time to read 
it.  In particular, do I need to cite my sources?  The facts in the letter 
are lifted from a couple of articles in the Sept/Oct issue of Sierra.  If 
anyone has more MI-specific info, it would probably help the letter pack more 
of a punch.

THANK YOU!

Elisabeth Loos

Here's the letter:

We Michiganders are fortunate to live in a state replete with natural beauty, 
from our Great Lakes to our majestic forests.  My family has often visited 
the Manistee National Forest north of Grand Rapids to hike segments of the 
North Country Trail and marvel at the beauty and complexity of nature.  As 
our state is slowly but surely being paved over, and subdivisions and strip 
malls occupy what was once orchards, farmland, and open spaces, there are few 
places left to connect with the natural world.  

But our national forests are under attack from lumber companies who log 
public lands at public expense.  Taxpayers foot the bill for loffing-road 
construction, timber sale planning and administrative costs, replanting, 
restoration and clean up.  The Forest Services's figures indicate that the 
timber sales program on national forests operates at a net loss to taxpayers 
of well over $1 billion each year.  Big timber companies profit, and the rest 
of us lose out.

One argument that has been used to support the commercial logging of out 
national forests is that logging on public lands creates jobs that are vital 
to the economy.  But recreation in national forests creates 38 times more 
jobs than logging in national forests.  Our national forests are more 
economically valuable intact, healthy, and attracting tourism than sold off 
for toilet paper and junk mail.

Al Gore is an advocate for the preservation of wild forests.  He supports 
Bill Clinton's proposal to protect 40 million acres of national forest land, 
whereas George W. Bush has vowed to reverse the propsal.  This is typical of 
Bush's anti-environment stance on the issues.  Bush also opposes stricter 
clean air standards, opposes the creation of new park lands, and advocates 
oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  One of Bush's advisors, 
economist Terry Anderson, has advocated privitizing and selling off our 
national parks.  The environmental implications of a Bush presidency are 
truly terrifying to consider.

As voters, we are poised to determine the fate of our national forests.  
Should they be clearcut to line the pockets of the timber industry?  Od 
should they be set aside for recreation and the preservation of America's 
last wild places?

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