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Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com

"U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck said his agency should be at the 
forefront of preserving what's left of the nation's pristine countryside and 
he recommended increasing the number of Forest Service employees working on 
wilderness issues."

''Five percent of our land area is wilderness. It might not sound like much, 
and it isn't. It's not nearly enough,'' Dombeck said Saturday at a national 
conference on wilderness. He said federal agencies need more information on 
land that could qualify for federal wilderness designation and must do more 
to cooperate on its management.--DENVER (AP) 

Northwoods Wilderness Recovery

P.O. BOX 122; MARQUETTE, MI  49855-0122
(906) 225-1938
E-mail:  <drcornet@up.net> and <murphwild1@hotmail.com>



Northwoods Wilderness Recovery (NWR) and Citizens Public Lands began working 
to protect the Trap Hills in 1992.  Over the past 8 years, we have been able 
to put the Trap Hills on the map as a biological "hot spot" for threatened, 
endangered and rare plants and animals.

Comprised of two cutting units, High Country and Sandhill Creek, the Old M-64 
Hardwoods timber sale contains one of the largest, unprotected, old-growth 
forest tracts left in the Ottawa National Forest.  In 1997, NWR, Federal Land 
Action Group, and 2 nationally-acclaimed poets, Antler and Jeff Poniewaz, 
appealed the Old M-64 Hardwoods timber sale.  The National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) provides citizens with the right to challenge Forest 
Service decisions through the appeals process.

During the appeal process, the Forest Service (FS) received over 40 letters 
from individuals and organizations across the US calling for protection of 
the Trap Hills.  The Forest Service disregarded all the public input and 
denied our appeal. In 1998 and 1999, we conducted two more letter-writing 
campaigns to the Ottawa National Forest supervisor and federal legislators 
asking that the sale be withdrawn and the Trap Hills be included in the 
roadless area road-building moratorium.

Due to this public support generated by NWR, the Forest Service made an 
announcement in February, 1998, that the sale was "put on hold."  However, 
the FS has another idea of what "on hold" means, and has laid out roads and 
marked over 1000 acres of trees for cutting.

"Public concern has the Forest Service reconsidering a timber sale in the 
Ottawa National Forest in Ontonagon County, northeast of Bergland," wrote 
Mike Rhea at the  Houghton Daily Mining Gazette, MI.  "Reconsideration" is 
merely a new spin of inaccuracies and deception by the federal government as 
to why they must log the Trap Hills to save it.  The government claims they 
must log so that, "the area can be moved more readily to the future."  
Evidently, the Forest Service can speed up time through logging!

"Perhaps the area, if left alone, could return to the future state 
envisioned, but with effective and considerate management efforts, the area 
can be moved more readily to the future in a healthy and sustained manner" 
--Forest Service on Trap Hills.

Trap Hills provide habitat for a number of Threatened, Endangered,sensitive 
and rare plants and animals including Peregrine Falcon, Northern Goshawk, 
Red-shouldered Hawk, Wood Turtle, Fairy Bells, Braun's Holly Fern, Male Fern 
and Prairie Buttercup.  Trap Hills lies in a north-south travel corridor from 
the Porcupine Mountains to Sylvania Wilderness, and contains suitable habitat 
for Endangered Canada Lynx, Eastern Timber Wolf and other species.

The Old M-64 sale area was the first site in the Ottawa where the Endangered 
Fairy Bells (Disporum hookeri) was discovered and second location for this 
plant in the state.  Dozens of sitings of Northern Goshawk and Red-shouldered
Hawk have occurred here.  Trap Hills was also a release site for the 
Endangered Peregrine Falcon, which began in 1988 and continued until 1990.  
Peregrines have returned each year and have successfully nested three times 
since 1990.

In 1995, the FS and Michigan National Guard colluded to break federal law, by 
not doing proper environmental assessments for road construction into the 
heart of Trap Hills.  The FS replaced the wooden footbridge over  Sand Hill
Creek with an industrial-strength culvert.  This culvert was constructed 
under the guise of "recreation improvement," but in reality was built to log 
the Trap Hills. It also provides illegal access for ATV's in a semi-primitive 
non-motorized area. There was no environmental analysis done to measure the 
cumulative impacts of this road construction and its future use.

Providing low-impact recreation, research opportunities and habitat for 
Threatened and Endangered Species, is the best alternative for Trap Hills.  
This is why we are urging Trap Hills be designated as Wilderness.  NWR will 
be working in the next several months to craft a Wilderness proposal.  In 
your letters to the FS and Congressman Kildee, ask for permanent protection 
for Trap Hills under wilderness designation.  Please also contact NWR if you, 
your group or business would like to sign on as supporters of wilderness 
designation for Trap Hills.

Please send your letters and comments urging permanent protection of Trap 
Hills to:

Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck
Auditors Building
201 14th Street SW, Room 4 NW
Washington, DC 20250
(202) 205-1661
E-mail:  mdombeck@fs.fed.us

Phyllis Green, Forest Supervisor
Ottawa National Forest
E6248 US 2
Ironwood, MI 49938
(906) 932-1330
E-mail:  pgreen/r9_ottawa@fs.fed.us

Please cc: all letters, calls and emails to your congress person.  Also cc:  
your message to Congressman Kildee at the address below or by E-mail at 
<dkildee@mail.house.gov> and <michael.gorges@mail.house.gov> (Kildee's DC 
environmental aide)

To find the address (snail & email) of your Congressperson on the internet go 
to: http://www.vote-smart.org/index.phtml and click on "Congress" under the 
"Offices" category.  Then click on the state for all information for 
your representatives.

YOUR Representative
US House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

YOUR Senator
US Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

For more information and to get more involved, please contact us!  To visit 
the Ottawa NF web site to see what they have to say about Trap Hills, go to 
<http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/ottawa/> and click on Trap Hills.

DIRECTIONS:  From Bergland, go north on (new) M-64  2 miles.  Turn right on 
"Old M-64" (gravel road).  Go 4 miles east and then north to FR 326 and turn 
right (east).  The North Country Trail (NCT) crosses 326 about 1/2 mile in.  
At the end of 326 is a poorly marked trail that goes to the Gogebic Ridge and 
reconnects with NCT.  About 1 mile south of FR 326 there is a trail head for 
the Gogebic Ridge Trail.  Also, a NCT trail head is found 1/2 mile north of 
FR 326.

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