To: All Activists
From: American Lands Alliance
Date: November 16, 2004
Call and Faxes Needed to Stop Lawless Logging Biscuit Rider
Congress is back in session this week. Congressional staff are continuing to negotiate on many of the must-pass spending bills that were not completed before Congress left. With a large amount of unfinished work Congress is aiming to combine all spending bills into one big bill, an omnibus. Of critical importance to our National Forests is the Interior Appropriations bill, which funds the Forest Service.
Calls and faxes are still needed throughout this week to stop Senator Smith (R-OR) from attaching a rider to the omnibus bill that would exempt the Biscuit post-fire timber sale, the largest logging project in modern history, from judicial review. If Senator Smith gets his way citizens will not be allowed to challenge any of the Biscuit post-fire logging activity in court, even if the project violates current environmental laws. Ancient forest stands and roadless areas will be sacrificed as the Forest Service intends to log 370 million board feet, enough to fill 74,000 logging trucks. The Biscuit sale is located in the Siskiyou Wild Rivers area on the Siskiyou National Forest in Southern Oregon known for its world-class biodiversity, pristine rivers and extraordinary recreation opportunities.
TAKE ACTION: Please call and/or fax your Senators and Representatives to help stop Senator Smith's attempts to legislate the largest logging project in modern history behind closed doors.
CALLS: Please call your Senators and Representative's DC offices at 1-202-224-3121 (capitol switchboard). Once you are connected to the office, ask for the staff that works on National Forest/Environmental issues. Tell them that you:
Oppose efforts by Senator Gordon Smith to attach his Lawless Logging Rider on the omnibus spending bill that would bar citizens from holding the Forest Service accountable for their actions in court and override environmental protection laws.
FAXES: Please also send a fax to your Representative and Senators (see sample letter below). To find the fax/email number for your Representative go to: http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml. To find the fax/email number for Senators go to: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
Sample Fax Letter:
Dear Representative/Senator X (fill in name):
I am writing to ask you to oppose attempts by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) to attach an extreme legislative rider on the omnibus spending bill, which would override existing environmental laws and prohibit judicial review in order to legislate the largest timber sale in modern history -- the Biscuit post-fire logging project on the Siskiyou National Forest. Senator Smith's rider is intended to override the current judicial process that is underway by stripping away all forest and river protection laws for the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area in Southern Oregon and slamming shut the courtroom doors to citizens, leaving roadless areas, ancient forest reserves, wild and scenic rivers and salmon runs at risk of being destroyed by logging and roadbuilding.
Senator Smith's rider would allow logging of over 8,000 acres covered by the Roadless Area Conservation Rule and would allow logging in old growth reserves -- designated for the protection of old-growth forests, wildlife habitat and biological diversity. Independent analysis has shown the Biscuit Project would cost taxpayers well over $40 million, wasting taxpayer money on logging the backcountry instead of protecting homes and communities from wildfire.
Even government agencies - EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service - along with independent scientists with expertise in satellite mapping, soils, forest ecology, fisheries management, and restoration have found that: the project will likely increase fire risks in the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area for up to 30 years; extensive logging as proposed by the Forest Service will retard the regeneration of old-growth forests; excessive sediment flowing into streams from roads and fire lines will likely choke critical fish spawning areas; and as much as forty percent of the units mapped for logging contain live trees.
With five National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area is one of the best remaining refuges for wild native salmon and steelhead left on the Pacific coast. The rivers and streams that could be severely damaged by the logging proposal support 27 unique runs of at-risk anadromous fish, including Coho salmon, spring and fall Chinook salmon, winter and summer steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout, green sturgeon, white sturgeon, and Pacific lamprey. The Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon contain a wealth of other significant ecological values, including a distinctive and diverse geology, unparalleled botanical richness, numerous endemic and highly restricted plant species, unique flora and fauna habitat, unparalleled recreation opportunities, and clean water.
Please help block Senator Smith's attempts behind closed doors to attach this extreme legislative rider to the omnibus spending bill.
State, City, Zip
Senator Norm Coleman Phone: (202) 224-5641 Fax:
Senator Herb Kohl Phone: (202) 224-5653 Fax:
Senator Carl Levin Phone: 202-224-6221 Fax:
American Lands Alliance
Bloomington MN 55420
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