Oppose Walden Logging Bill-- Today!
Sorry to be posting this up so late, but today is a national call-in day to oppose the Walden logging bill HR 4200. This bill would open the way for salvage logging operations, among other deleterious practices, in our forests. Salvage logging, as practiced currrently, has been shown to be detrimental to the regeneration of conferous forests -- harmful to the forests, to the watersheds, to the fisheries, to other wildlife, to the ecosystem in general.
Participate in the Call in Day on Tuesday, May 16th
to Oppose the Walden Logging Bill!
Please call your Representative at 202-224-3121 and ask them to oppose the Walden Logging Bill - HR 4200, "The Forests Emergency Research and Recovery Act."
For background, see below:
From Umpqua Watersheds:
The Walden Logging Bill undermines protections for forests, fish, water and wildlife in order to rush logging after natural disturbance events, such as wildfires and rainstorms on national forests.
The most basic protections are missing: There are no protections in the bill for old growth forests, roadless areas, streams or riparian areas, critical wildlife habitat, fragile soils, or other essential natural resources.
The Walden Logging Bill sacrifices accountability and transparency in federal decision making by casting aside the most important law the public has to provide meaningful and informed input on federal projects - the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). All projects authorized under the bill would be exempt from NEPA, which requires that federal projects undergo a "look before they leap" review that takes into account sound science, a reasonable range of alternatives, and lets the public know about a project and its environmental impacts before moving forward.
The best available science shows that logging in forests after natural disturbances can be extremely damaging and can actually increase fire risk by leaving piles of limbs and branches on the ground. Letting trees regenerate naturally works better than logging and replanting. Bulldozers destroy naturally regenerating fragile seedlings. Logs left in place following fires or other disturbances are crucial building blocks, providing nutrients for the reemerging forest. In a recent letter, 169 scientists including some of the most prominent forest ecologists in the nation wrote to warn Congress that HR 4200 "...is misguided because it distorts or ignores recent scientific advances."
Community protection priorities will be misplaced. The bill creates incentives to divert scarce agency resources away from projects intended to protect communities before wildfires may occur, and toward destructive logging projects that can delay recovery and increase fire danger.
Logging after fires loses taxpayer money. According to a new report by scientists, a former Forest Service employee, and conservation groups, the Forest Service most often loses taxpayer money on post fire logging. It is estimated that as of 2006 it cost taxpayers approximately $14 million dollars logging in the Southern Oregon Biscuit fire that burned in 2002.
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