Forest Focus - December 11, 1997

Western Ancient Forest Campaign wafcdc at igc.apc.org
Thu Dec 11 20:32:00 EST 1997


From: Steve Holmer <wafcdc at igc.apc.org>



FOREST FOCUS ROADLESS AREA SPECIAL         December 11, 1997

ROADS CONTENTIOUS, NOT NEEDED?:  "I understand that road-
building into roadless areas is the most contentious," Forest Service Chief
Mike Dombeck said in an Associated Press article that ran in today's Portland
Oregonian.  Dombeck's comments came in response to a nation-wide call
yesterday by conservationists, religious leaders and scientists for an end to
logging in National Forest roadless areas.  Chief Dombeck is apparently taking
notice.  "The single most permanent thing we do from a landscape change is
probably roads.  We need to be very careful and sensitive," Dombeck
continued, "There are a lot of roads that aren't needed anymore."

NOTED SCIENTISTS AGREE...:  "A scientifically-based policy for
roadless areas on public lands should, at a minimum, protect from
development all roadless areas larger than 1,000 acres", say one hundred and
thirty-six scientists in a letter to President Clinton.  The group called on the
president to acknowledge and implement into policy his own words from a
Nov. 14 statement that "(Roadless areas) must be managed through science,
not politics."  The scientists also noted that areas smaller than 1,000 acres
have special ecological significance because of their contributions to regional
landscapes and they deserve protection.

'THE BIG R':  Religion underlies the other three "R's" - resources, rivets
(holding together ecosystems) and recreation - that are reasons for protecting
roadless areas, says Heather Kaplan of The Coalition on the Environment and
Jewish Life (COEJL).  "Species serve each other because of the unity of God's
universe and proclaims to us the values we preserve when we protect forests,"
Ms. Kaplan said.  The COEJL consists of 26 Jewish organizations including
the American Jewish Congress, Jewish War Veterans and National Council of
Jewish Women.  Ms. Kaplan's statement came from her role in a press
conference yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

WILDERNESS PARADISE LOST:  Since the beginning of the forest
planning process in the mid-1980s, over 440,000 acres of National Forest
inventoried roadless lands in the Northern Rockies have been developed, says
a new report by American Wildlands.  Kim Davitt, the report's author, notes
that the data comes from incomplete Forest Service figures and that many
forests have failed to track projects in inventoried roadless lands.  The report
calls for protecting roadless areas as being an "essential part of protecting
biodiversity in the Northern Rockies."  An earlier report by The Wilderness
Society determined that over one million acres of roadless land was lost in
Idaho alone in the same time period.  For a copy of the report contact
American Wildlands at 406/586-8175.



Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

Western Ancient Forest Campaign
1025 Vermont Ave. NW  3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
202/879-3188
202/879-3189 fax
wafcdc at igc.org




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