Logging Still Threatens Roadless Areas

Larry Harrell fotoware at jps.net
Fri Oct 6 12:52:38 EST 2000

<wafcdc at americanlands.org> wrote in message
news:9bdf81bd& at pop2.igc.org...
> From: "wafcdc at americanlands.org" <wafcdc at americanlands.org>
> Subject: Logging Still Threatens Roadless Areas
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 5, 2000
> Contact: Steve Holmer, 202/547-9105
> Logging Still Threatens Roadless Areas
> The Interior Appropriations bill includes a massive increase in funding in
> response to this year's fire season that lacks adequate environmental
> safeguards and could open the door to a significant increase in logging in
> roadless areas.   The draft roadless area protection policy would not
> protect against fuels reduction projects which often take the form of
> sales and non-commercial thinning projects.
We are currently doing fuels reduction/thinning projects in the USFS and not
impacting the eco-systems. Instead, we are improving these forests by
providing more water to the remaining trees and improving their ability to
fight off drought and insects. Visual aesthetics are also improved in the
long run as skid trails heal, the minimal residual slash compacts (we do
whole tree removal) and wildlife returns to a once-sterile forest floor.

> "The final roadless policy should prohibit logging, including so-called
> stewardship, forest health or fuels reduction logging, which have all the
> same negative impacts of regular logging and which have not been proven to
> help restore forest ecosystems or reduce fire risks," said Steve Holmer,
> campaign coordinator for American Lands.  "Without adequate environmental
> safeguards, fuels reduction service contracts to remove trees could take
> place in roadless areas, old growth forests, and endangered species
> and could include the logging of large fire-resistant trees."
We do not "take' any tree over 30 inches in diameter unless it is a hazard
to roads or other structures. Some larger trees from 22" to 28" in diameter
are taken if they are crowding larger trees. Simulating fire in those
roadless areas, old growth stands and endangered species habitats can mean a
thinning type of project but, mostly, those areas are currently off-limits
to any type of timber management project, beneficial or not.

> "To ensure that emergency fire funding is directed to help protect
> communities and homes, all fuels reduction funds should be exclusively
> directed to the urban/wildlands interface which is defined as the area 200
> feet surrounding an inhabited structure," said Holmer.  "Not to roadless
> areas or other wildlands where the risk to lives and property are lowest."
So, you think a raging inferno of a fire will stop at 200 feet of people's
houses if those areas are thinned? Shouldn't those foolish people who built
houses in these at-risk areas be charged with some of the treatment costs?
Sometimes, to stop one of these infernos, backfires have to be started miles
in front of the head of the fire, to safely "attack" those type of dangerous

> "We support and appreciate the Administration's roadless initiative, but
> must remind the White House that strong leadership is still needed,
> areas are not yet protected," said Holmer.  "Roadless areas are still
> logged by the Forest Service right now, and under their draft plan, this
> logging would continue as before."
And maybe we should adopt a "let-burn" policy in roadless areas too, because
fires are a natural process that cleanses a forest of fuel build-up? <G>
Those roadless areas are in pristine, healthy and perfect, aren't they? <G>
Insects, fires and diseases always ignore roadless areas and we will never,
ever need to "treat" these areas, right?<G> What is really needed here is to
keep the door open for projects in roadless areas that will improve or
repair problems that occur in these roadless areas. Projects have to be open
to public scrutiny, appeals and all the concern that the public can throw at
a particular project.

> One example of a harmful roadless areas timber sale is the Quartzite
> Sale on the Colville National Forest which proposes to log 4,500 acres out
> of the 5,000 acre Quartzite roadless area.  This is the largest remaining
> roadless area near the city of Spokane and is a popular recreation and
> scenic area.
Well, then, Mr. Holmer. Let's hear some specifics of how this project will
"destroy" the roadless area. Are they clearcutting it? <G> Or, are they
thinning out the dry and overgrown understory, dead and dying trees stressed
by environmental conditions?

> "The Administration has an historic opportunity to leave a legacy of
> protected forest lands all across America," said Holmer.  "But this won't
> happen if these precious roadless lands are left open to logging -- they
> will be stripped bare of trees -- so we urge the President to issue a
> policy that requires complete protection for all National Forests from all
> forms of logging."
Yep, that would complete the legacy of Republican blame on Clinton for all
the problems with fire and such. In truth, both parties are right in the
finger-pointing and both are wrong in putting all the blame on any one
administration, policy or misunderstanding of the laws of nature and
science. We need to do what is right for the land, whether it makes a profit
or not. We shouldn't worry about the past misdeeds but look to the future as
to how to fix the problems and not lose any more land to fire, insects,
diseases, unsustainable logging, etc

Larry,     out in the woods everyday

       Larry Harrell Fotoware
Making software out of Fotos for over five years now
New version of "Virtual Yosemite"!!
Downloadable demo available at http://www.lhfotoware.com/virtual.htm
Check out my web site at http://www.lhfotoware.com   New pages!!!

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