October 7, 2002

Representative Mark Udall,
115 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

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."
-- James L. Connaughton

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.


signed by:

Carl Ross, Director
Save America's Forests, D.C.

Ray Vaughan, Director
Wildlaw, Alabama

Denise Boggs, Director
Utah Environmental Congress

Jeff Juel, Ecosystem Defense Director
Ecology Center, Montana

Gary Macfarlane
Friends of the Clearwater, Idaho

Anthony Ambrose, National Forest Conservation Program
Environmental Protection and Information Center, California

Dave Bell, Outreach and Education Director
Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Montana

Lamar Marshall, President
Wildsouth, Alabama

Mike Peterson, Executive Director
Lands Council, Washington

Tracy Davids, Director
Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project

Robert Mueller, Director
Virginians for Wilderness, Virginia

Bethanie Walder, Director
Wildlands CPR, Montana

Sara Johnson, Director
Native Ecosystem Council, Montana

Mark Donham, Program Director
Heartwood, Indiana

The Nationwide Campaign to Protect and Restore America's Wild and Natural Forests

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