"Don't Hold Us Hostage"

wafcdc at americanlands.org wafcdc at americanlands.org
Thu Jun 3 15:00:15 EST 1999

From: "wafcdc at americanlands.org" <wafcdc at americanlands.org>

LANDSCOPE, News and Views from American Lands - June 3, 1999

"Don't Hold Us Hostage"

	The House Resources Committee held a hearing May 20 to discuss the county
payments issue.   "Don't hold us hostage," testified Oregon County
Commissioner Pete Sorenson, referring to efforts by the timber industry and
their allies in Congress to link the payments issue with changes in forest
practices.  Sorenson testified in support of decoupling payments and said
that the real issue is money and making sure counties and schools have what
they need.  He then noted the Spotted Owl Payments made to counties affected
by the Northwest Forest Plan are a good example of how stabilizing payments
can help counties.

. . . Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) expressed his support for Sorenson's
testimony saying, "This is about money, not forest management."  Rep. Mark
Udall (D-CO) agreed saying, "good government means that we should try to
develop policies that achieve their purpose most efficiently and with the
fewest side effects.  In my opinion, the current funding arrangements we are
discussing today fall short of meeting those tests, while I find the
Administration's decoupling proposal more attractive on those grounds."

Lawsuit Challenges Salvage Logging:  A lawsuit recently filed by
environmental groups in Montana challenges the U.S. Forest Service's
decision to allow logging and road building in the Rye Creek area of the
Bitterroot National Forest.  The lawsuit cites the Forest Service's failure
to prepare an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement to
allow the public a chance to review and comment on management practices.
"The Forest Service is trying to avoid their responsibility to involve the
public in national forest management," said Jim Olsen of Friends of the
Bitterroot.  The lawsuit also challenges the impact analysis for the Rye
Creek timber sale.  For additional information contact Deborah Kmon at
mailto:dkmon at wildrockies.org.

Seven Treesit Campaigns in Pacific Northwest:  There are currently seven
campaigns to protect ancient forests by living atop trees in the Pacific
Northwest, including four in California and three in Oregon.  In the Eagle
timber sale area in Mt. Hood National Forest, the Forest Service began
arresting and removing protesters who had been blocking a logging road for
over a week.  The Eagle sale contains a sizable unprotected wilderness that
makes up the headwaters of the South Fork of Eagle Creek, a source of clean
drinking water.   For more information contact the Cascadia Forest Defenders
at mailto:cforestd at efn.org.

Study Highlights Need to Expand Wilderness:  A new study entitled,
"Wilderness in a Landscape Context" conducted by the University of Montana's
Flathead Lake Biological Station and The Ecology Center showed that the
current network of Wilderness areas is unable to maintain complete aquatic
ecosystems.  The study used an Aquatic Diversity Areas approach, which
combines information on road densities, fish stocking history, native/exotic
fish presence, and sensitive species occurrences, to quantify the health of
watersheds in western Montana.  The study's co-author Dr. Christopher
Frissel of University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station stated,
"our results point out that in the absence of additional land protection and
changes in wildland management practices, existing Wilderness is not
sufficient to achieve effective conservation of our native aquatic species."
For additional information contact the Wild Rockies InfoNet at
mailto:news at wildrockies.org

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Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands 
726 7th Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202/547-9213 fax
wafcdc at americanlands.org

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