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E-M:/ Western Michigan Forest Advocates

Enviro-Mich message from "Joshua Martin" <joshua@americanlands.org>

To:  	Forest Advocates in Western Michigan
From:	Joshua Martin, American Lands Alliance, Midwest Organizer
Date: July 8, 2002

(please pass on to friends)

The Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2002, H.R. 4865, now has 177
cosponsors in the House and continues to gain momentum. Conservationists are
also urging Congress to pass a roadless area spending limitations amendment
to halt over fifty new roadless area logging projects that violate the
Roadless Rule.

Two Michigan Representatives are keys to the national puzzle!

Please call the office of US Representative Fred Upton, ask to speak to
Kevin Stemple, the environmental legislative assistant.  202-225-3791.

Call the office of US Representative Vern Ehlers, ask to speak to Matthew
Reiffer, the environmental legislative assistant.  202-225-3831.

Urge them to support the Roadless Area Conservation Act, H.R. 4865.

(also see www.ourforests.org)

On January 5, 2001, the Record of Decision for the Final Environmental
Impact Statement (FEIS) was signed to protect 58.5 million acres of wild
roadless areas on National Forests from logging and roadbuilding.  This
moderate policy recognized the value of National Forest roadless areas for
providing clean water, clean air, fish and wildlife habitat and backcountry
recreation and was supported by over two million public comments in favor of
the policy.

This is an historic and carefully considered policy that is center stage on
the nations environmental agenda in the summer of 2002.

Road issues:
Our national forests today are criss-crossed by almost 400,000 miles of
roads, nearly 10 times the length of the U.S. interstate highway system.
Many of these existing roads are in disrepair. The Forest Service has a road
maintenance backlog totaling more than $8 billion. This extensive, crumbling
network of roads is justified largely to serve extractive industries such as
timber and oil and gas, even though only 4% of the country's wood fiber
production and 0.4% of oil and gas comes from the national forest system.

Public Involvement:
Over two million official public comments have been received and counted by
the Forest Service, with more than 95% supporting the strongest possible
protection for our wild forests. The Forest Service also conducted over 600
public meetings.  At least two meetings were held on each National Forest
plus additional meetings were held in the location of regional Forest
Service offices.

Time is critical:
The Bush Administration has failed to enact the rule or defend it in court,
and is actively undermining protections for roadless areas through a series
of directives.  The Forest Service is preparing to log 33 roadless areas in
Alaska's Tongass National Forest and is planning numerous other roadless
area roadbuilding and logging projects in other states.  While the Bush
Administration asks us to wait for the courts to decide and for the process
to be completed, the Forest Service isnít waiting to proceed with clearcuts
in Roadless Areas.

The big ďAskĒ: (Donít forget this part!)

Will the office Cosponsor the Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2002, HR
4865, that would codify the roadless area conservation rule, and

Support a spending limitations amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill
to provide a one-year moratorium on new logging and roadbuilding projects
that are inconsistent with the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

Please contact Joshua Martin, American Lands, Midwest Organizer at
812-333-5456 or Joshua@americanlands.org for more information to share a
report from your call.

>From the Sierra Club Website:

Help ensure that our last wild forests are protected for future generations,
not logged for short-term profit. The Bush Administration is moving to
sacrifice the last wild areas of our National Forests to clearcut logging,
roadbuilding, and other destructive activities. You can help by writing a
letter to your Representative and Senators and urging them to sponsor the
National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act.

As Americans, we treasure our National Forest heritage. But more than half
of our National Forest land has been damaged by logging, roadbuilding and
other destructive activities. The more than 400,000 miles of roads that scar
our National Forests - roads built by the logging industry and paid for by
tax dollars - have destroyed wildlife habitat, caused mudslides and polluted
our water.

In January 2001, the Forest Service finalized the Roadless Area Conservation
Rule, a plan to protect nearly 60 million acres of unspoiled National
Forests. The plan would end most new road building and logging in the last
wild areas of our National Forests -- preventing logging from turning
pristine wild forests into clearcuts -- and protecting vital wildlife
habitat, unique recreational opportunities and the purity of our drinking
water supplies. The plan would protect wild areas in National Forests in 38
states -- from Florida's Apalachicola to Alaska's Tongass.

The plan was developed after the most extensive public participation in
federal rulemaking history -- 600 public meetings and over 1.6 million
citizen comments, over 90% of which favored complete protection for wild
forests. But as soon as the Bush Administration took office, they began
working to delay and dismantle the popular plan.

The Administration reopened the public comment period and another 600,000
individuals went on the record backing the plan. But despite the fact that
the Forest Service has now received more than 2 million letters and comments
from people who expressed support for forest protection, the Bush
Administration continues its push to sacrifice our natural heritage and our
taxpayer dollars to timber industry profits.

In the past year, the Forest Service has published a series of directives
that open our last wild forests, including Alaska's Tongass Rainforest, to
devastating logging and roadbuilding. The directives undermine wild forest
protection and allow the timber industry to fast-track destructive logging
projects while bypassing environmental review and public input-even if the
logging will harm endangered species or spoil a roadless area.

Members of Congress can help turn up the heat by sponsoring the National
Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act. Members should also urge the Bush
Administration to stop undermining forest protection and start protecting
our last wild forests - beginning by defending and implementing the Roadless
Area Conservation Rule.

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