For Immediate Release
Contact: Ken Rait, 503-283-6343, Ext. 210
Loopholes and Exemptions in Moratorium Highlighted in New Report by the Heritage Forests Campaign
Detailed Information on Open Spaces, Wild Places in 16 States
WASHINGTON, April 29, 1999. Today the Heritage Forests Campaign released a report entitled "Loopholes and Exemptions: Losing our Heritage Forests," that presents examples of the continuation by the U.S. Forest Service of environmentally and fiscally unsound logging practices in roadless areas Ñ despite the agency's temporary moratorium halting the construction of new roads into roadless areas on some national forest lands.
"The report illustrates the numerous loopholes and exemptions in the current Forest Service policy," said Ken Rait, director of the Heritage Forests Campaign. "It also highlights the problems in overall Forest Service management of roadless areas, which tends to favor timber production over other uses." The report focuses on specific information from 16 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. Below are some examples of the loopholes and exemptions covered in the report.
Areas "exempted" from the moratorium: Logging, road-building, and geothermal drilling within a pristine roadless area in California's Modoc National ForestLogging in over 1,000 acres of the South Fork Eagle Creek Watershed, an important source of drinking water for many communities near the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon. The Eagle Timber Sales will affect two inventoried roadless areas and log adjacent to the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness, a very popular recreational area
"Loopholes" in the moratorium: Logging inside a municipal watershed roadless area within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in OregonOil and gas leasing in roadless lands in the Bridger Teton National Forest in Wyoming
In November 1997, President Clinton laid out the Administration's intent to develop a science-based roadless area policy for national forest lands to protect recreational opportunities, fish and wildlife habitat, and irreplaceable clean drinking water sources. The current moratorium on road-building will expire when the Forest Service implements a final policy, due before October 2000.
"Even under the temporary moratorium, the open spaces and wild places in our national forests continue to be at great risk from logging, mineral development, and road building," Rait said. "The Forest Service must adopt a final policy that permanently protects our wild forests, as President Clinton promised and as the public has demanded."
The Heritage Forests Campaign is an alliance of conservationists, educators, scientists, clergy and ordinary Americans who are working together to ensure that our unprotected scenic wilderness forests are permanently protected.
Click here to see the report, or call 732-544-5928, and request document #325 for fax on demand service.
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