October 7, 2002
Representative Mark Udall,
Dear Representative Udall,
We are writing today to strongly urge you to vote against the McInnis-Miller "compromise" bill H.R. 5319.
Under current laws, there is extensive logging already occurring on the national forests in the name of fire protection. There is no reason for new authorizing legislation to weaken citizen input, expedite timber sale procedures, or weaken or remove environmental laws.
The real reason the timber industry is attempting to remove the environmental laws protecting our national forests is not to save them from fire, but to increase the amount of environmentally destructive logging. The following is a quote from James L. Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, at the August 22, 2002 press briefing on President Bush's new Forest Fire policy.
"So if you're looking if you're interested
in getting thinning done, and there's an interest in getting commercial
grade timber, the best place to get commercial grade timber is in the
context of these thinning projects. So why not go there? And that's really
what this is about."
On the floor of the Senate two weeks ago, Senator Barbara Boxer held up two photos of forests which had been burned by fire. One was relatively unscathed-that was an old growth virgin forest. The other had all the trees burned black, and that was the thinned, "managed" forest.
What is needed for our national forests is better ecological management, not a weakening of our environmental laws in order to allow timber companies to do even more destructive logging than they already have.
Please vote against the McInnis/Miller forest fire bill.
Carl Ross, Director
Ray Vaughan, Director
Denise Boggs, Director
Jeff Juel, Ecosystem Defense Director
Anthony Ambrose, National Forest Conservation Program
Dave Bell, Outreach and Education Director
Lamar Marshall, President
|Mike Peterson, Executive
Lands Council, Washington
Tracy Davids, Director
Robert Mueller, Director
Bethanie Walder, Director
Sara Johnson, Director
Mark Donham, Program Director
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