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E-M:/ Old Growth Off NRC Sept. Agenda

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

 For those who get the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) agenda and also 
 those following the DNR old growth issues raised here, I wanted to make 
 sure to pass along that the old growth originally scheduled for the Lands 
 Management Subcommittee of the NRC was pulled from the Sept 13/14th agenda 
 AFTER the agenda was mailed.  We received a call to that effect as soon as 
 the decision was made by the upper level DNR staff, and now having 
 received the agenda I wanted to pass this along to others who may not have 
 gotten the word. 
 The original plan had been for the report of the DNR's Old Growth 
 Committee to be released at this time, allowing for public review and 
 discussion of the criteria being proposed by this committee.  The 
 committee report was submitted in a timely fashion, but apparently 
 discussion at the executive level of the DNR led to the decision to hold 
 back the release at this time. 
 Needless to say, Sierra Club is very disappointed in this decision.  We 
 are convinced that the public debate about this will take a long time 
 regardless of when the committee report is released, and that delays in 
 the release simply delays the process.  And delay continues to mean that 
 old forests are being cut that we and Mackinaw Forest Council have asked 
 be held for consideration as old growth. Despite delaying release of the 
 report, there has been no indication that any further consideration is 
 being given to the request to the NRC to direct the DNR to put a hold on 
 cutting of the oldest stands of trees on the State Forest system until 
 such time as the old growth process has been completed.  
 We do want to commend some of the DNR staff in the field, particularly 
 Pigeon River Country Forest Management Unit, who responded to requests in 
 this year's Compartment Review to hold off on decisions to treat some of 
 these old stands until the old growth process was complete (although they 
 anticipated that the schedule for completion would be the 2 years 
 originally proposed).  Our sense is that all of us would benefit from 
 having the process move into the public as soon as possible.  
 Anne Woiwode

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