Christians for zero cut

Kirk Johnson newkirk at
Fri Oct 16 02:24:21 EST 1998

> PO Box 7536; Boulder, CO  80306-7536
> OCTOBER 13, 1998
> CONTACT:          ANN ALEXANDER     (973) 353-5695
>                AMY HANSON     (626) 793-0754
> The Christian Environmental Council (C.E.C.), a broad national
> inter-denominational coalition of Christian leaders which firmly adheres to a
> Biblical approach to creation care, released a resolution today calling for
> the "end of all commercial logging on U.S. National Forests," and an end to
> all logging of old-growth forests in the U.S.  The resolution also calls for
> redirecting the monies currently going to the U.S. Forest Service's timber
> commodity program and using them to benefit logging communities and to fund
> forest restoration.  During a C.E.C. annual meeting held in Paradise Valley,
> Arizona on October 2nd-4th the Council voted unanimously for this resolution. 
> "Our Scriptures clearly teach that forests are a place where God is present,
> and cares and provides for his creatures who inhabit them," said Ann
> Alexander, Chair of the Christian Environmental Council.  "Paying timber
> companies nearly a billion dollars every year to needlessly decimate these
> irreplaceable forests, which God created and loves, is to commit a sin of
> greed and waste."  She added.
> The C.E.C.'s purpose is to provide support to leaders in the Christian
> community who address environmental issues.  It also serves as a forum for
> joint action and expression of the leaders' common views concerning these
> issues.  The Council meets once a year to address threats to the integrity of
> creation, and to people who are harmed by environmental degradation.  This
> year the members chose the Forest Ecosystems of the United States upon which
> to focus their concern with prayer and action.  Through their Resolution, the
> Council members affirm that "forest ecosystems are an integral component of
> God's good creation, wholly having intrinsic value because they were created
> by and for Jesus Christ." (Colossians 1:15-20. Ephesians 4:6).  The forest
> protection measures called for by C.E.C. are necessary to retain forest
> ecosystem remnants and restore the forests as God made them.   
> Gordon Aeschilman, President of Target Earth, stated, "The resolution by the
> Christian Environmental Council calling for an end to all old-growth logging
> and the commercial logging of National Forests in the USA is a completely
> right-headed decision for our country and future generations.  Christians
> shouldn't aim for anything less in their commitment to serve God's creation
> and protect the people of the next century."  Amy Hanson, Co-Director of
> Christians Caring for Creation, observed, "This strong resolution on forest
> protection is the latest example of a growing movement within the religious
> community.  Christians of all denominations are now speaking out against the
> appalling timber sales program on our National Forests."
> She also referred to the U.S. Forest Service's annual report which stated that
> they logged nearly one half of a million acres on our National Forests in 1997
> alone.   In addition, according to the Congressional Research Service, the
> timber sales program operated at a net loss of  $791 million to taxpayers in
> 1996, while providing only 3.9% of this nation's total annual wood supply. 
> The Christian Environmental Council Resolution on Forest Ecosystems
>    WE AFFIRM that Scripture declares, "The earth is the LORD's and
everything in
> it," (Psalm 24:1)  AND
>    WE AFFIRM that "the LORD God had made all kinds of trees grow out of the
> ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food," (Genesis 2:9)
>    WE AFFIRM that God created and intended that "all the trees of the forest
> will sing for joy," (Psalm 96:13) AND "all the trees of the field will clap
> their hands."  (Isaiah 55:12)
>      FURTHERMORE, we affirm that forest ecosystems are an integral component
> of God's good creation, wholly having intrinsic value because they were
> created by and for Jesus Christ, and have been reconciled through Him
> (Colossians 1:15-20, Ephesians 4:6).
>      WHEREAS old growth forest ecosystems are a declining remnant of the earth
> as God created it,       AND
>    WHEREAS large and integrated forest ecosystems provide a critical
habitat for
> many of God's threatened and endangered species,     AND
>    WHEREAS forest ecosystems play an ecologically crucial role in
mitigating the
> increasing levels of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions,    AND
>    WHEREAS the purposes of National Forests to provide quality water supplies
> and recreation opportunities have been largely overlooked in recent years in
> favor of maximizing commercial timber harvest,           AND
>    WHEREAS the livelihoods of people in certain communities have historically
> depended on government subsidized logging,     AND
>    WHEREAS we as Christians affirm simple living, the virtue of frugality, and
> living as good stewards of God's provision in creation; and affirm that our
> biblical responsibility to love our neighbors as ourselves extends not only to
> our neighbors living today, but to our neighbors throughout time, because
> Christ's redemption extends throughout time (Matthew 22:39, Psalm 15:3,
> Proverbs 13:22, & Romans 8:21),
>    WE ENCOURAGE all Christians to support and advocate the conservation of
> remaining forest ecosystems as natural communities, created by and pleasing to
> God,  rather than using forest ecosystems solely for their potential as
> economic capital.     
>    THEREFORE, let it be resolved that we encourage, support, and advocate the
> end of all old-growth logging of God's forest ecosystems in the United States
> to ensure protection of this ancient remnant of God's creation.
>    THEREFORE, let it be further resolved that we encourage, support, and
> advocate the end of all commercial logging on U.S. National Forests, as
> carried out under the U.S. Forest Service's timber commodity program and the
> redirection or appropriation of  monies to benefit communities dependent on
> timber harvesting and to fund forest restoration.
> Passed on this 4th day of October 1998 by the Christian Environmental Council
> Ann Alexander, Chair          Stan LeQuire, Secretary

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