Wrong Way Walden Logging Bill Coming Next Week
Submitted by Ted Williams on Tue, 05/16/2006 - 06:54.
Wrong Way Walden Logging Bill Coming Next Week Call in Day Tuesday! The Walden Logging Bill is scheduled for a vote on the House floor next week. We expect the vote on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. We have scheduled a national call in day on Tuesday, May 16th. Umpqua Watersheds and our partners ask all of you to activate your networks. Even if you have called before, please call again on May 16th. It is critical that Members of Congress hear loud and clear from you and me that the Walden Logging Bill is bad for forests, wildlife, clean water, and can also increase fire risk. Some newspapers have editorialized opposing HR 4200. To view some recent editorials, click here. 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." Talking Points for Calls (fact sheets and additional talking points are below): Background: • 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. THANK YOU Umpqua Watersheds PO Box 101, Roseburg, OR 97470 541-672-7065 www.umpqua-watersheds.org Umpqua Watersheds is dedicated to the protection and restoration of the watersheds in the Umpqua River basin and beyond.