Imagine the magnificent natural
forests that greeted the first visitors to the land
we call North America...
of giant maple, chestnut and oak stretched from the
east coast to the Mississippi valley. Spruce and pine
carpeted the Great Lakes region. Ancient redwood and
Douglas fir towered over the Pacific Ocean. Nearly
half of our continent was covered with forests.
of plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms living
in dynamic balance-a fantastic interplay of the sun's
energy, the earth's minerals and pure water creating
a magic web of life...trees tall as skyscrapers...animals
fierce as the wolverine and powerful as the grizzly
bear...birds beautiful as the scarlet tanager and
majestic as the bald eagle.
95% of our original forests were logged during the
past 200 years, a few remnants of never-logged, virgin
forests remain in pockets throughout America. In many
places where the original forest was logged, the native
species of trees, plants and animals have returned.
These second-growth natural forests store a living
library of forest life descended from times past.
forests began their evolution 100 million years ago.
Some of America's forests are home to trees 1000 or
more years old.
for miles in every direction, a land barren and scarred.
All the trees removed, only charred stumps dot the
floods wash away the rich topsoil and gouge deep ravines,
exposing rocks, clay or sand. The bare earth is saturated
with plant-killing chemicals, the land bulldozed,
the remaining branches and fallen tree trunks soaked
with gasoline and set on fire; every living thing
above and below the ground is dead. The entire scene
is crisscrossed with dirt roads leading to...nowhere.
this bizarre landscape a horror movie? A war zone?
This is a clearcut in a U.S. National Forest!
here are more scenes from our National Forests:
Eagles flying in terror as their 400 year old
nest trees crash to the ground.
and their eggs smothered under an avalanche of
mud sliding off of a clearcut mountainside.
fleeing as chainsaws and bulldozers clearcut their
are not exceptions. For decades, the U.S. Forest Service
has deliberately clearcut millions of acres of National
Forests, selling off the logs to international timber
corporations at bargain basement prices. Over the
past 10 years, our Forest Service has spent more than
5 billion tax-dollars carrying out the destruction
of our National Forests. Timber barons rake in
millions, while American taxpayers lose billions!
is a world deforestation crisis - and America is at
the center of the problem. We also hold the
keys to the solution. It is time for America to lead
by ending deforestation at home.
own Forest Service clearcuts our National Forests
and in their place plants tiny, identical tree seedlings-tree
farms contain only one species of tree planted by
the thousands in row after row, all the same age.
Having none of the diversity and fertility of natural
forests, tree farms are prey to destructive fires,
drought and floods, and invasions of pests and diseases.
On millions of acres, tree farms have failed to grow,
leaving huge regions of our National Forests permanently
barren. Tree farms are an insult to nature, and should
be completely banned from our public forest lands.
can this happen?
U.S. Congress has directed the Forest Service to clearcut
our National Forests on behalf of wealthy and powerful
timber and paper corporations. These corporations
have bought political influence with Congress to pass
laws that liquidate our priceless public forests for
subsidized destruction of our National Forests leads
to a chain reaction of deforestation and environmental
pollution around the world. Clearcutting promotes
overuse of paper and wood, clogging landfills and
filling incinerators with waste. Small, private woodlot
owners can't match subsidized government prices, and
are forced to overlog and clearcut to compete in the
marketplace. The U.S. exports much of its timber overseas
as raw logs and wood pulp for foreign corporations.
Meanwhile, we import timber from tropical rainforests,
causing massive deforestation around the world and
loss of jobs here at home.
can stop this cycle of worldwide forest destruction!