[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Re: Re: E-M:/ State Senators want National Forests given to Michigan -- and TIMBER MANDATE!

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com


In fact Tim, we "actually" have stopped many thousand acres of forest from 
falling--since you have turned this into a litmus test.  And we have never 
remotely had the resources at hand which the Sierra Club Mackinaw Chapter 
does. Your inference of non-participation cannot stand, and does not hold 
water.  In my many  years with NWR and other forest protection groups and 
efforts, we  have filed several lawsuits, which resulted in actual withdrawal 
of timber sales, and built the public record based in science and public 
support.  I have personally been part of at least three lawsuits in the 
Ottawa and Hiawatha NF's.  We also have appealed several timber sales.  We 
have submitted hundreds of comments in scoping process.   It may take some 
time to recount them all, but I can provide an accurate list which will 
reflect that we have halted logging, temporarily or permanently, and built a 
public record to defend our position which has broad public support.    

In fact, we have posted ACTION ALERTS on many of these national forest 
battles on this listserve (e-mich) for a long, long time.  To date, I do not 
know of A SINGLE one of those action alerts you or the Mackinaw Chapter of 
the Sierra Club has supported, either publicly, or on the record, in writing 
or verbally, other than Borrowed Time back in 94.  I do not see yours, or 
Mackinaws name in any of the EA's or BE's or scoping process of the Ottawa or 
Hiawatha NF's, until more recently, and they are few and far between.  This 
can be verified by a simple FOIA request to the federal agency.  This is 
truly troubling when you present yourself as leaders of forest protection to 
the public in Michigan.  

I know of only one lawsuit, the current Aspen over-cutting suit, that 
Mackinaw has ever participated in on forest issues.  In the hundreds of 
comments submitted over the years on over-cutting of  hardwoods and aspen by 
NWR and others,  there is not one letter of support on the record from you or 
Mackinaw Chapter.  

The Mackinaw's involvement in the seemingly endless quagmire of a 
Huron-Manistee old growth policy, which after ten years running, is going 
nowhere, is evidence enough that simply attending Forest Service meetings, 
which you and Mackinaw put such emphasis on,  is futile.  I have been told by 
Mackinaw leadership that appealing timber sales is not an appropriate action 
to take.  This is a fact.  By all accounts, the only strategy Mackinaw has, 
is no strategy at all. 

I think your greatest strength is in identifying old growth, which you have 
tried to do in state forests and on the HMNF.  I have not seen any policy 
change or reduction in cutting due to it, nor do I think by any stretch, that 
playing footsie with these agencies,  is going to bring about any change.  
Look at the record.  

Please do tell us what the Mackinaw policy or "clear vision" is, I would like 
to know.    If your policy is to maintain a level of harvest on national 
forests, it is in direct conflict and violation of your organizations 
official policy.  You are riding a slippery slope by suggesting you can 
ignore this policy, because you have the authority to set your own priorities 
as a chapter.  I happen to know, as Billy suggested, that there are members 
and chapters of Sierra Club, who are troubled by the Mackinaw leaderships 
lack of supporting their own policy of ECL.  The fact that you have told me 
that your own lumber company mills national forest trees is a direct conflict 
of interest in itself.  

If the official ECL policy of Sierra Club is not yours or Mackinaw's 
"vision,"  then perhaps a change is needed.

Murray Dailey   

Enviro-Mich message from Billy Stern <billysun@chorus.net>

Hi Tim,

As someone relatively new to the region, I'm wondering if you (or 
anyone) could list the actual lawsuits that Mackinaw Chapter has been 
involved in that focus on USFS/NF management, for say the last 10-15 

"No commercial logging" aside, Murrey is not the only person I've 
hear complain that the Chapters in the Great Lakes have done 
relatively little to slow logging on National Forest over the past 10 
years compared to other Chapters (and local groups) around the 

The shear numbers do seem to show that the region is still a relative 
timber and pulp basket compared to other parts of the country where 
activists have taken a stronger stance.  Of course, with the relative 
flatness of the region and somewhat few endangered species, there may 
have been fewer legal handles, but most of the suits in other parts 
of the country are successful on NEPA  and other technical issues. 
Your thoughts on that are welcome.

Billy Stern
John Muir Chapter Ex-com and Forest Committee member.

At 7:58 PM -0500 3/5/02, Tim wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from Tim <timf@mac.com>
Murphwild1 wrote:

>>  Why does the Mackinaw Chapter of SC continue to advocate for logging in 
>>  national forests when the official Sierra Club policy is to END COMMERCIAL

>Three points:
>One, the policy you refer to allows members of the Sierra Club to work
>towards a bill in Congress to band commercial logging.  It doesn't force
>Chapters or activists to work on that legislation.  It allows Chapters to
>improve land management and stop bad practices on Federal lands as they see
>fit.  In fact in the debate to pass the policy, it was sold to folks that
>way.  SC policy allows Chapters to set their own priorities, within the
>framework of all our policies viewed as a whole.
>Two, the Mackinac Chapter works are hard as anyone to make positive
>improvements in the management of our public lands.  We actually attend
>meetings, write comments, appeal management actions, and go to court to
>implement our strategy to recover and protect Michigan's ecological
>diversity.  We do so on State and Federal public lands in Michigan.  Those
>are the priorities we have selected, and they are making a difference.
>Third, *no commercial logging* is not the only clear vision one can
>advocate.  The SC in Michigan has followed a clear vision, and presented it
>at many meetings and in comments to all Michigan's National Forest and All
>State forest land.
>I for one am proud of the Club's work in Michigan over the last two decades,
>beginning with our involvement in the first National Forest plans.
>Our priorities may not be the same as yours, that OK with me, hopefully
>we're all doing what we feel is best for the land.  I think a diverse set of
>tactics will get us to where we want to go, faster than only one tactic.
>Good luck with your work, hope you'll wish me and others working with the
>Mackinac Chapter the same.
>Tim Flynn
>Sierra Club, Mackinac chapter volunteer


Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com


Why does the Mackinaw Chapter of SC continue to advocate for logging in our 

national forests when the official Sierra Club policy is to END COMMERCIAL 

LOGGING?  I would at least like to know why the Mackinaw does not support, 

take opportunity, or advocate their own organizations official policy.  I 

think the public and many of the Sierra Club members and local chapters, who 

voted 2 to 1 in support of END COMMERCIAL LOGGING, who expect this "mandate" 

to be implemented, deserve an answer to this.  

I would suggest taking our two national parks, Sleeping Bear Dunes National 

Lakeshore Park, and Pictured Rocks National Park, as examples of what forests 

begin to look like when they are free of commercial logging:  Walk the lush 

old growth Empire Bluffs trail in SBDNPL, then drive, hike or bike hwy 72  a 

few miles east to the Pierre Marquette state forest and stand in a pine 

plantation, or young aspen monoculture, you will notice a profound, startling 

difference.  This is but just one glaring example.  It does not take a rocket 

scientist to figure this stuff out. 

The National Forests and State Forests of Michigan should not be harvested 

commercially at all.  There is absolutely no reason they should not be set 

aside exactly as Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks have.  The Forest 

Service should be abolished or restructered and merged with the National Park 

Service for strictly a stewardship role in dealing with growing recreational 

impacts--like protecting piping plovers, which the Park Service trys very 

hard to do every year with volunteers, myself included.  There are years and 

years of restoration work (not restoration logging) which could employ people 

in the state of Michigan.

The DNR under Engler has a worse track record than the Forest Service, 

yes...and of course i oppose any timber mandate or rolling over of federal 

lands to the politically owned DNR, and will make my calls.  But to continue 

expecting change within these agencies, and without offering a clear, concise 

vision af to what is needed, is like a dragon chasing its tail. 

 Murray Dailey

"From 1980 to 1991 the U.S. Forest Service timber program operated at a net 

loss of $7.3 billion.  In fiscal year 1997, over $1.3 billion was 

appropriated from the general fund of the U.S. Treasury and another $466 

million was spent from off budget accounts for the timber sale program.  Only 

$68 million of these receipts were returned to the Treasury, resulting in a 

net cash loss to taxpayers of over $1.2 billion.  (Hansen, Chad, "Ending 

Timber Sales On National Forests, The Facts,"  1999)."

In a message dated 3/4/2 11:01:50 PM, anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org wrote:

"National Forests, and someday, one would hope, State Forests, are about 

providing for everything from timber, to tourism, to clean water, to 

protection of natural diversity, etc. etc." 

Sen. Concurrent Resolution 53 Wants US to Give National Forests to State

Senate Approps Subcom on Nat Resources Passes SCR 53 day after introduced

Tuesday this past week, Senate Concurrent Resolution 53 was introduced into

the Michigan State Senate, and Wednesday it was passed out of the Senate

Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources (Sen. DeBeaussaert voted

NO, McManus, Gast, Hoffman and Koivisto voted YES). SCR 53 (copied below in

its entirety, with names of sponsors and cosponsors) asks the US Congress to

hand over Michigan's almost 3 million acres of National Forest lands to the

State to be run by the Michigan State DNR instead.  Similar idiotic

resolutions have circulated in other states as the Mine It, Log It and Road

It lobbies try to maximize private profits as public expense.

Proponents argue that the feds are wasting money running the national

forests (in Michigan that "waste" amounts to federal funds flowing into the

state's rural areas at a rate of about $35,000,000 per year in direct

funding of the three National Forests and PILT and other funds given

directly to counties), and claim that the state's grossly underfunded and

understaffed program, which is hidebound by a mandated timber treatment

level, would somehow improve the management.  What is most grossly apparent

is that our legislators just plain don't get it.  National Forests, and

someday, one would hope, State Forests, are about providing for everything

from timber, to tourism, to clean water, to protection of natural diversity,

etc. etc.  The blinders put on their eyes by the timber industry, which is a

smaller and smaller part of any good, diversified forest economy, seems

likely to lead these folks to throw away tens of millions of dollars of

federal funds, throw away the type of programs the national forests provide

that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly, simply because the

timber folks think they ought to have free reign over our forests.


ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"