Forest Focus - September 14, 1998

Western Ancient Forest Campaign wafcdc at igc.apc.org
Mon Sep 14 15:36:41 EST 1998


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

FOREST FOCUS, the bulletin of American Lands, September 14, 1998 
To reach us call (202)879-3188, fax (202)879-3189, or email
wafcdc at igc.apc.org


RPA SUIT FILED:  Twenty-two environmental groups filed suit on
Wednesday, September 9 to halt timber sales in all national forests
reports Associated Press.  The 1974 Renewable Resources Planning Act
(RPA) requires the Forest Service to provide plans every five years to
guide the agency's actions.  The suit contends that the Forest Service is
three and a half years late on the final 1995 plan for commercial and
recreational activities and environmental protection.  Congress passed a
rider prohibiting the Forest Service from finalizing the plan in 1997
until September 30, 1998.  Even with the end of the moratorium near,
the RPA program is still in danger.  One of the numerous anti-
environmental riders on the Senate Interior Appropriations bill
abolishes the Resource Planning Assessments altogether.   The Forest
Service is refusing to finalize the RPA Program Management Plan
because it will clearly show the timber sale program is an ecological
and economic disaster,  stated Paul Mason, President of the
Environmental Protection Information Center.   The draft Forest
Service 1995 RPA program concluded that recreation, fishing, hunting
and other non-commodity activities contributed 32 times more jobs and
income than did logging on the National Forest system. 

BULL TROUT ENDANGERED:  Federal officials declared Nevada s
last population of Bull Trout endangered in early August, reports
Associated Press.  It was an unusual step to list the fish under the
Endangered Species Act without the normal year-long review, but it
was an emergency move to stop county road builders from destroying
the fish habitat in the Jarbidge River.  There is a dispute between the
Federal Government and Elko County officials over jurisdiction of the
area and the proposed road.  The emergency declaration protects the
fish now, while the year long review is conducted and it gives the
federal government legal leverage in the debate over the road
construction.   Streams on Forest Service lands belong to all
Americans, not the county commission, and we need to speak up and
stop this nonsense before the commissioners do irreparable damage to
public property,  said Matt Holford, chairman of Trout Unlimited s
Nevada Council.

LAND REVIEW: The Forest Service will review whether taxpayers are
getting a fair deal in three land swaps with timber companies in the
Northwest, reports Associated Press.  The Seattle-based Western Land
Exchange Project claims that appraisals undervalued almost 200,000
acres of timberland.  The companies and government say the deals are
good for everyone, but a recent internal Forest Service investigation
show that land managers may be shortchanging taxpayers.  An audit in
Nevada showed taxpayers lost almost $6 million in the Deer Creek land
exchange.  Forest Service chief Michael Dombeck ordered a
moratorium on all deals involving third parties and they must be
reviewed in Washington, D.C.  It is unclear whether the agency s
review will have any affect on the two exchanges still pending.  For
more information please contact Janine Blaeloch, Western Land
Exchange Project Director, at 206/325-3515, blaeloch at westlx.org


The Western Ancient Forest Campaign is now American Lands, reflecting our
work with citizens nationwide to protect America's wildlife and wild places.


Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands 
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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