Committee of Scientists Concludes Ecological Sustainability Should

wafcdc at americanlands.org wafcdc at americanlands.org
Thu Mar 18 15:29:04 EST 1999


From: "wafcdc at americanlands.org" <wafcdc at americanlands.org>
Subject: Committee of Scientists Concludes Ecological Sustainability   Should Be Top Management Priority

LANDSCOPE - News and Views from American Lands - March 18, 1999

Committee of Scientists Concludes Ecological Sustainability 
Should Be Top Management Priority

	The Committee of Scientists released a report this week which will serve as
the basis for new forest planning regulations to be issued next month.   The
report, "Sustaining the People's Lands: Recommedations for Stewardship of
the National Forests and Grasslands into the Next Century," says that
ecological sustainability should be the overarching objective of National
Forest Stewardship.  "In addition to the suite of environmental laws calling
for protection of ecological systems, scientific results and common sense
point to the necessity of protecting forests and rangelands so they continue
providing benefits to society," says the report.  The Committee also
concluded that conserving habitat for native species and the productivity of
ecological systems remains the surest path to maintaining ecological
sustainability.  A copy of the report is available at
http://www.cof.orst.edu/org/scicomm/

. . . This report endorses a new management direction that will begin
restoring ecosystems rather than continuing to degrade them, but it does not
provide the means to accomplish this goal.  This will only happen if the
planning regulations to be issued next month provide strong enforceable
standards and direct the agency to protect wildlife and our remaining wild
places.  Recent Forest Plans have been going in the wrong direction by
weakening standards, failing to propose wilderness and completely ignoring
important issues such as grazing and the impacts of off-road vehicles.  We
will keep you informed on the new regulations and opportunities for public
comment.

New Forestry, Oil Spill Threaten Oregon Coast:  The grounding of the New
Carissa off Oregon's coast spilled oil and wreaked havoc on the coastal
ecosystem, but the ship is also part of another tragedy affecting Oregon's
coast.  The New Carissa was scheduled to be filled with 7,000 tons of Oregon
wood chips from very young second-growth forests.  "Today's intensive forest
management in coastal Oregon has a high harvest disturbance factor, relies
heavily on herbicides and is liquidating salmon and eliminating
biodiversity," said Chuck Willer of Coast Range Association.  "Much of the
private commercial timberland in Oregon's coastal mountains is being
clearcut every 40 to 50 years.  In addition, the new short-rotation forestry
requires a high percentage of the landscape to be cut every year,
compounding the disturbance to Oregon's coastal hillsides and streams."

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Asks for Cap on Funds to Protect Species:
GREEN reports that at a recent House Resources Subcommittee hearing, FWS
Director Jamie Clark indicated her agency wants Congress to set a cap on
funds avialable for critical habitat designation and listing species.  With
mandated spending caps, the agency can plead poverty in critical habitat and
listing lawsuits brought by environmental groups.

Environmental Groups Sue to Force "Critical Habitat" Designations:  Several
groups, including the Southwest Center, filed a suit in San Francisco
federal court on the basis that the failure of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to designate habitat for seven species listed under the Endangered
Species Act violates the Act.  Most of the species involved in the suit are
in California, where they are threatened by development and grazing.
Contact the Southwest Center for more information at
dpatterson at sw-center.org or 520/623-5252. 


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Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands 
726 7th Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202/547-9105
202/547-9213 fax
wafcdc at americanlands.org
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