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

WAFC Report From Washington - 2/6/98 Show your support for a moratorium on roadbuilding in our National Forests.

Steve Holmer, Editor
Vol. 8, No. 1; February 6, 1998

Western Ancient Forest Campaign
1025 Vermont Ave. NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 202/879-3188

Partial Road Building Moratorium Proposed
     The Forest Service has proposed a roadbuilding moratorium in
some National Forest roadless areas that offers activists an opportunity
to press the Administration and Congress for the permanent protection
of these critical areas.  The proposed rule is available in the Jan. 28,
Federal Register and can be obtained by contacting the Forest Service
website at http://www.fs.fed.us/ or by contacting WAFC.  The
roadbuilding moratorium begins when the final rule is issued following
the thirty-day comment period and will last eighteen months or until a
"roads assessment" process (similar to watershed analysis) is
implemented, whichever comes first.

1) Submit your public comments for the Interim Roadbuilding
Moratorium to:  Director, Ecosystem Management Coordination
Staff, MAIL STOP 1104, Forest Service, USDA, P.O. Box 96090,
Washington D.C. 20090-6090.  Comments on the interim
moratorium are due by February 27.

The agency is accepting email comments and we would like to
encourage activists to rebroadcast this alert to  your email networks
and ask people to email their comments about the policy to the
Forest Service at roads/wo@fs.fed.us 

Pressure on the Administration Still Needed
     We need to keep the Administration aware of the public's
concerns.  Please copy your comments to:  

     Vice President Al Gore at 202/456-2326, fax 456-7044,
     OEOB, Rm. 274, Washington, D.C. 20501,
     vicepresident@whitehouse.gov and

     Katie McGinty, Director of the Council on Environmental
     Quality, at 202/456-6224, fax 456-2710, OEOB, Rm. 360,
     Washington, D.C. 20501.

60,000 miles of "Ghost Roads" - Poor Road Closures
Threaten Forest Ecosystems
     Updated inventories by the Forest Service have revealed an
additional 60,000 miles of "ghost roads" that are not officially included
in the National Forest road system.  These uninventoried "ghost roads"
are primarily temporary roads from old timber sales that should have
been removed by the contractor and roads created by off-road vehicles. 
These unplanned and often unconstructed roads add to the already
significant ecological impact of the 373,000 miles of known roads. 
Predator Project's Roads Scholar Project has been conducting on-the-
ground inventories in the northern Rockies since 1994 and confirms the
existence and the serious threat posed by these roads.  

     This brings the total road mileage in the National Forests to at
least 440,000 miles, and the final inventories for each forest being
completed as part of the long term roads process are expected to reveal
tens of thousands more miles.  In addition, there are 29,500 miles of
paved roads and highways controlled and maintained by counties, states
and the interstate highway system across the National Forests that are
not included in agency inventories or road density calculations.  

     The Roads Scholar Project also revealed that many Forest
Service road closures were ineffective at keeping motorized vehicles
out.  And despite effective closures on many roads, fully one-third of
those surveyed (123 of 343 effective road closures) showed signs of
motorized use beyond the otherwise effective closure, suggesting that
the agency was still using them.  For more information about the Roads
Scholar Project, please contact Dave Havlick at 406/543-8424 or

Appropriations Lobby Week March 2-6 
     WAFC will be holding a forest protection lobby week March
2-6 that will focus on appropriations issues as well as stopping the
QLG and Smith forest health bills.  If you are concerned about how
the Forest Service is spending your tax dollars to harm the
environment, please come to Washington to help turn the tide.  If
you haven't made the trip, or you need a refresher course, we will
provide lobby training, materials, everything you need!

Public Witness Day March 3
     Public witness day for the House Interior Appropriations
Subcommittee will be held on Tuesday, March 3.  However, slots to
testify in person about forest issues have been filled, but written
testimony (four pages max and four copies) can be sent to Chairman
Ralph Regula, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, B-308 Rayburn,
Washington, D.C. 20515 or by fax to 202/225-9069.  The deadline is
March 17.  Testimony can also be sent to Chairman Slade Gorton,
Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, U.S. Senate,
Washington, D.C. 20510 or fax 202/228-4532.  The Senate deadline is
April 16.

Committee of Scientists Preparing NFMA Planning
     A Committee of Scientists has been established to advise the
Secretary of Agriculture and the Forest Service on possible
improvements to the land management planning process.  It was
established after the 1995 proposed regulations implementing NFMA
were met by a storm a criticism and held back.  The committee will
review those proposed regulations (with comments incorporated) and
might suggest new regulations.  Chaired by Dr. Norm Johnson from
Oregon State, they are planning six more meetings across the country
(they have held two already) and hope to produce a report in late April. 
Because President Clinton signed a rider that halted forest planning
until new regulations are adopted, we expect to see the new draft
regulations this year.  

     The list of committee members, meeting schedules & agendas,
minutes, and information on how to participate (and provide documents
to the committee) are on a web site:
http://www.cof.orst.edu/org/scicomm or you can contact the: 
Committee of Scientists, PO Box 2140, Corvallis, OR 97339, 541-750-
7083 fax, or leave a message at 541-750-7057.  The next meeting will
be held on Feb. 12-13 in Seattle followed by Atlanta on Feb. 24-25. 
Activists are welcome to attend the meetings and ask questions and
relay our concerns to the committee members.

Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act Update
     The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA),
H.R. 1425, was introduced by Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) and Rep.
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and is supported by 58 co-sponsors.  NREPA
is bi-partisan, ecosystem-based legislation that would protect more than
20 million acres of federal public lands in the Northern Rockies (parts
of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington).  The bill will
save taxpayers at least $100 million over the first ten years by
prohibiting deficit roadbuilding and timber sale programs in remote
roadless areas and create more than 2,300 jobs restoring wildlands. 
For more information contact Alliance for the Wild Rockies,
awr@igc.apc.org, 406-721-5420.

Log Exports Legislation Update  
     Legislation is expected to be introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio
(D-OR) to tighten restrictions on the export of unprocessed wood
materials, including logs.  An Interior Appropriations bill rider written
by Sen. Slade Gorton last year gutted the 1990 law restricting timber
companies who export from their private lands from purchasing federal
timber.  A campaign including the Railroads and Clearcuts Campaign,
the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Dogwood Alliance, WAFC, and other
groups is being developed to promote an end to the export of
unprocessed wood including logs, chips, and wastepaper. We will seek
to work with labor, small mills, and communities to support efforts by
Rep. DeFazio to repeal the Gorton Rider and restore the provisions of
the 1990 law, as well as any legislation filed by Rep. DeFazio or others
seeking further restrictions on, or an end to, the export of unprocessed
wood products.  For more information please contact Lynn Cumiskey
at 404/378-2111, lcumiskey@earthlink.net

IMF Funding Threatens to Boost Logging 
     A total of $18.5 billion is sought by the Clinton Administration
in new funding for the International Monetary Fund, an international
lending institution that was originally designed to make short term
"bridge loans" to developing countries but is now involved in
promoting major changes in economies of developing countries as a
condition of massive "bailout" loans.  Unfortunately, the IMF often
promotes changing the economies of developing countries to rely on
exports in order to raise cash to pay back loans.  Logs and timber are
one of the most common exports available to these countries, and thus
funding from the IMF often promotes abusive logging.  It is likely that
the supplemental appropriations bill to come before the Congress this
March will include at least $3 billion in IMF funding, if not the entire
$18.5 billion.  Friends of the Earth and WAFC oppose any additional
appropriations by the U.S. Congress for the IMF until the IMF stops
promoting exports of timber and other natural resources.  

Reducing Wood Consumption
     The following policy statement was adopted by the Board of
Directors of the Western Ancient Forest Campaign, June 8, 1997:   

The volume of wood that can be logged worldwide without damage to
the ecological integrity of forests is far short of even our current
demand for wood.  Increased consumption of as much as 50% by the
year 2040 as currently forecast will create even greater pressure on our
remaining original forests.  It is particularly important that US citizens
reduce consumption as Americans are one out of every 20 global
citizens, but we consume one out of 6 trees.  

The Western Ancient Forest Campaign (WAFC) recognizes that
reducing wood consumption in the US and abroad is an integral part of
stopping deforestation and protecting forest ecosystems.  The reduction
of wood consumption is central to our mission of protecting and
recovering the West's native forest ecosystems and biodiversity.    

WAFC therefore endorses the goal of the Wood Reduction
Clearinghouse to reduce wood consumption in the US by 75% in ten
years through increased recycling, reuse, efficiency, alternatives, and
product durability, and through decreased consumption.

To do our part toward achieving this goal, WAFC commits its board,
staff, and organizational resources to:

     1) Educating forest activists, others within the environmental
     movement, our allies, the media, and the public about the
     importance of reducing wood consumption to stopping
     deforestation and protecting forest ecosystems;

     2) Supporting and initiating campaigns to implement public
     policies promoting recycling, reuse, efficiency, alternatives, and
     product durability, and decreased consumption; and

     3) Taking institutional and personal actions to reduce wood
     consumption including use of tree-free or 100% post-consumer
     recycled paper.

     For more information on how you can help reduce wood
consumption, please contact Ned Daly at the Wood Reduction
Clearinghouse at 202/387-8030, ned@tap.org or Emily Muggins,
Rethink Paper, 415/788-3666, rtp@igc.org,

WAFC Welcomes New Staff
     WAFC is happy to have Brian Vincent on board as our new
California Organizer.  He will be working out of Nevada City on ESA,
wilderness and forest issues when he is not rock-climbing.   Cathy
Steuart has joined the staff as ICBEMP Organizer.  She will be
working out the Northern Rockies Campaign office in Boise, Idaho. 
Sean Cosgrove has moved on to become the legislative representative of
the ForestWater Alliance to replace Samantha Mace who headed back
West.  You can contact Sean by calling 202/429-2602 or by email at
fwasean@igc.org   Amelia Jenkins of the Wild Utah Forest Campaign
has joined the D.C. staff as our new forest economist.  We also
welcome Kevin Mueller who is working on the roadless area survey for
the Wild Utah Forest Campaign (WUFC).  Kevin is a former WUFC

SUBJECT:  President's Budget Continues Logging &
                   Roadbuilding Subsidies

     The Clinton Administration unveiled a budget this week that
proposes to continue destructive subsidies for logging and roadbuilding
on the National Forests.  Given the staggering losses to the timber sale
program and the massive maintenance and repair backlog on 440,000
miles of existing roads, the President's budget defies common sense
and fiscal responsibility.  A preliminary analysis shows that there is
well over half a billion dollars for timber sales.  This is the year of the
balanced budget, but not for the Forest Service.  

Here are some highlights from the President's budget for the agency:

*    $37.4 million for the construction and reconstruction of logging
     roads.  The agency plans to subsidize the construction of 403
     miles of new logging roads and to reconstruct another 2,957

*    $6.6 million for the Purchaser Elect Program whereby the
     Forest Service constructs logging roads for timber purchasers.

*    $199 million for timber sales management.

*    $58.3 million for "vegetation management" (another term for
     timber sale).

*    $140.8 million for salvage timber sales from the Salvage Fund.

*    $53.2 million for forest health management.  This includes
     salvage logging and thinning sales.

*    $25.8 million for brush disposal required by timber sales.

*    $6 million for the Timber Sales Pipeline Restoration Fund used
     to plan new timber sales.

*    $71.3 million for reforestation from the K-V fund.

*    $38.4 million for timber stand improvement from the K-V fund.

*    $30 million for reforestation from the Reforestation Trust Fund.

Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

Western Ancient Forest Campaign
1025 Vermont Ave. NW  3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
202/879-3189 fax