LANDSCOPE: Groups Fight Lawsuit Attacking Public Process

wafcdc at wafcdc at
Wed Oct 6 16:34:54 EST 1999

From: "wafcdc at" <wafcdc at>
Subject: LANDSCOPE: Groups Fight Lawsuit Attacking Public Process

LANDSCOPE: News and Views from American Lands - October 6, 1999

Groups Fight Lawsuit Attacking Public Process

Superior Wilderness Action Network (SWAN) and Forest Guardians have vowed to
vigorously defend the legal right of the public to participate in decisions
effecting public forestry policy, according to AP.  Minnesota loggers are
suing the organizations and the Forest Service for violating the separation
of church and state. The loggers say the groups are practicing a religion of
"deep ecology" and that the Forest Service is favoring one religion over
another when it hears the conservationists' appeals to timber sales.  "This
is about democracy itself and the rights of citizens to participate in
government decisions," said Ray Fenner of SWAN.

...This lawsuit is a transparent attempt to deny citizens access to the
public process effecting lands they own.  As the Duluth News Tribune
editorializes, "the judge should hoot this litigation out of court."
Contact Ray Fenner of SWAN at 651/646-6277 or
mailto:fenner at   or Sam Hitt of Forest Guardians at
505/988-9126 for more information.

Public Asked to Help Buy Back Blackwater Canyon: The West Virginia Highlands
Conservancy (WVHC) is campaigning to buy Blackwater Canyon from Allegheny
Wood Products (AWP), says an alert from the Conservancy.  The effort is part
of a larger plan to establish a Blackwater Canyon National Park, which would
be the first National Park in West Virginia.  For more information contact
WVHC at 304/265-0018 or visit their web site at

Court Stops Timber Sales to Protect Endangered Fish: A federal district
court blocked 24 timber sales because the government has not adequately
protected salmon habitat as mandated by the Northwest Forest Plan says
Oregon Natural Resources Council (ONRC).  Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund
brought the suit on behalf of environmental and fishing organizations.
"This ruling may finally force the federal government to stop logging salmon
habitat to protect threatened and endangered salmon," said Doug Heiken of
ONRC. Contact Doug Heiken at 541/344-0675 or mailto:onrcdoug at for
more information.

Forest Service Can't Be Sued for Faulty Monitoring: The 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals threw out a lawsuit against the USFS for failing to monitor wildlife
habitat and weed infestation in the Kootenai N.F., says AP.  The court
decided that suits can only be filed to challenge final decisions such as
timber sales, not preliminary steps like monitoring.  "The Forest Service
has a huge noxious weed problem tied to their roadbuilding and timber sale
program," said attorney for the Ecology Center, Jack Tuholske. "Suits
against specific projects may be too late to prevent harm."  Contact the
Ecology Center at 406/728-5733 for more information. 

Student ESA Essay Contest: As part of a program to educate the public about
environmental issues, Wildlaw, an Alabama conservation organization is
sponsoring an essay contest for 4th through 6th graders on the ESA.
Participants will write a 500 word essay on "What the Endangered Species Act
Means to Me."  The contest ends March 15, 2000 with a winner (to be
announced May 15) to be awarded $5,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds.  Contact Ray
Vaughan at 334/265-6529 or visit the WildLaw web site at for more information.

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Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

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

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