LANDSCOPE: Forest Service Proposes to Weaken Northwest Forest Plan

wafcdc at americanlands.org wafcdc at americanlands.org
Wed Nov 29 15:56:40 EST 2000


From: Steve Holmer <wafcdc at americanlands.org>
Subject: LANDSCOPE: Forest Service Proposes to Weaken Northwest Forest Plan to  Allow More Old Growth Logging

LANDSCOPE: News and Views from American Lands - November 29, 2000

Forest Service Proposes to Weaken Northwest Forest Plan to Allow More
Old Growth Logging

Last week, federal agencies responsible for implementing the Northwest
Forest Plan released the Final Supplemental EIS (FSEIS) on changes to
the plan concerning the survey and management requirements for hundreds
of old-growth dependent species.  The revised plan was necessary because
the Forest Service violated the Forest Plan's "clear, plain and
unmistakable" requirement to conduct wildlife surveys prior to logging
old growth forests, according to a federal judge.  In response, the
government has proposed new and dramatic changes to the Forest Plan that
substantially weaken existing environmental safeguards, opening the door
to logging of unprotected old-growth.  The FSEIS also failed to consider
a "no old-growth logging" alternative sought by over 150 conservation
groups and members of the Northwest Congressional delegation.  The
Northwest Forest Plan continues to rely upon old growth logging to meet
timber targets, with roughly 50% of all trees logged under the Plan
coming from classic old growth stands.  A final decision on the FSEIS is
expected in January.

. . . The Clinton Administration should be ashamed for issuing this
proposal to increase old growth logging.  With major corporations such
as Home Depot and 84 Lumber agreeing to stop selling old growth wood
products, one has to ask why the Administration is not strengthening
environmental standards to put an end to old growth logging?   "After
five decades of industrial logging in the Northwest, hundreds of plants
and animals are at-risk of extinction," said Peter Nelson of Pacific
Crest Biodiversity Project.  "Instead of buckling down and carefully and
deliberately protecting rare and sensitive wildlife, the agencies
instead propose weakening wildlife provisions and logging the last
remaining unprotected old growth forest." 

YELLOWSTONE WILL PHASE OUT SNOWMOBILES:  On November 22nd the National
Park Service announced it will restore the health of Yellowstone
National Park by phasing out the use of snowmobiles over a four- year
period and shifting to quieter, less-polluting snowcoaches (over-snow
vehicles that currently carry up to ten passengers each).  "Yellowstone
is reaffirming a golden rule that is central to America's national
parks: When visiting these irreplaceable treasures, each of us owes it
to other visitors to tread lightly,"  said Mike Clark, executive
director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.  Years of scientific
research has demonstrated that snowmobile exhaust is placing park
visitors and employees at risk and obliterating natural quiet at the
Park.  For more information contact Jon Catton, Greater Yellowstone
Coalition, (406) 581-7962, mailto:jcatton at greateryellowstone.org.

MONTANA CONSERVATIONISTS FILE SUIT TO PROTECT FOREST TRAILS:  Three
conservation groups have filed a federal lawsuit alleging the
supervisors of Montana's Bitterroot and Idaho's Clearwater national
forests have failed to enforce parts of their management plans that ban
all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on trails.  The Montana Wilderness
Association, Great Burn Study Group, and Predator Conservation Alliance
filed suit Nov 21, charging the Bitterroot and Clearwater National
Forests with breaking the law by allowing all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
traffic on forest trails and wildlands.  "These forests are creating ATV
roads and what amounts to drive-in campgrounds inside a proposed
wilderness," said John Gatchell, conservation director for Montana
Wilderness Alliance (MWA).  Contact John Gatchell, MWA, 406/443-7350,
mailto:jgatchell at wildmontana.org 








November 29, 2000

Forest Service Proposes to Weaken Northwest Forest Plan to Allow More
Old Growth Logging

Last week, federal agencies responsible for implementing the Northwest
Forest Plan released the Final Supplemental EIS (FSEIS) on changes to
the plan concerning the survey and management requirements for hundreds
of old-growth dependent species.  The revised plan was necessary because
the Forest Service violated the Forest Plan's "clear, plain and
unmistakable" requirement to conduct wildlife surveys prior to logging
old growth forests, according to a federal judge.  In response, the
government has proposed new and dramatic changes to the Forest Plan that
substantially weaken existing environmental safeguards, opening the door
to logging of unprotected old-growth.  The FSEIS also failed to consider
a "no old-growth logging" alternative sought by over 150 conservation
groups and members of the Northwest Congressional delegation.  The
Northwest Forest Plan continues to rely upon old growth logging to meet
timber targets, with roughly 50% of all trees logged under the Plan
coming from classic old growth stands.  A final decision on the FSEIS is
expected in January.

. . . The Clinton Administration should be ashamed for issuing this
proposal to increase old growth logging.  With major corporations such
as Home Depot and 84 Lumber agreeing to stop selling old growth wood
products, one has to ask why the Administration is not strengthening
environmental standards to put an end to old growth logging?   "After
five decades of industrial logging in the Northwest, hundreds of plants
and animals are at-risk of extinction," said Peter Nelson of Pacific
Crest Biodiversity Project.  "Instead of buckling down and carefully and
deliberately protecting rare and sensitive wildlife, the agencies
instead propose weakening wildlife provisions and logging the last
remaining unprotected old growth forest." 

YELLOWSTONE WILL PHASE OUT SNOWMOBILES:  On November 22nd the National
Park Service announced it will restore the health of Yellowstone
National Park by phasing out the use of snowmobiles over a four- year
period and shifting to quieter, less-polluting snowcoaches (over-snow
vehicles that currently carry up to ten passengers each).  "Yellowstone
is reaffirming a golden rule that is central to America's national
parks: When visiting these irreplaceable treasures, each of us owes it
to other visitors to tread lightly,"  said Mike Clark, executive
director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.  Years of scientific
research has demonstrated that snowmobile exhaust is placing park
visitors and employees at risk and obliterating natural quiet at the
Park.  For more information contact Jon Catton, Greater Yellowstone
Coalition, (406) 581-7962, mailto:jcatton at greateryellowstone.org.

MONTANA CONSERVATIONISTS FILE SUIT TO PROTECT FOREST TRAILS:  Three
conservation groups have filed a federal lawsuit alleging the
supervisors of Montana's Bitterroot and Idaho's Clearwater national
forests have failed to enforce parts of their management plans that ban
all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on trails.  The Montana Wilderness
Association, Great Burn Study Group, and Predator Conservation Alliance
filed suit Nov 21, charging the Bitterroot and Clearwater National
Forests with breaking the law by allowing all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
traffic on forest trails and wildlands.  "These forests are creating ATV
roads and what amounts to drive-in campgrounds inside a proposed
wilderness," said John Gatchell, conservation director for Montana
Wilderness Alliance (MWA).  Contact John Gatchell, MWA, 406/443-7350,
mailto:jgatchell at wildmontana.org 


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Steve Holmer
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American Lands 
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