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Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

October 29, 2004

The Forest Service's Misguided Plan to Combat Invasive Species

Statement of Tiernan Sittenfeld
Co-Director of the Heritage Forests Campaign

Subject: Forest Service’s Proposal to Combat Invasive Species

Washington D.C. (October 29, 2004) Today, Mark Rey, the timber industry lobbyist appointed to oversee the Bush Administration’s National Forest Service announced a new initiative to combat invasive species, which threaten the health of our nation’s forests. We find Mr. Rey’s concern for native species on public lands to be disingenuous, since he has supported a string of policy decisions that greatly exacerbate this problem.

Scientists have been warning the Forest Service for some time that extensive logging and roadbuilding are among the primary ways invasive species are introduced into National Forests. Yet the Bush Administration is in the process of dismantling the Roadless Rule that was enacted in January 2001 to protect over 58 million acres of National Forests from deforestation.

Just last week, more than 125 scientists from 30 states wrote to the Forest Service and warned that roadbuilding in National Forests “has come at substantial ecological costs, including: (1) increased erosion, air and water pollution; (2) spread of invasive exotics; (3) significant road mortality and avoidance by wildlife; and (4) habitat fragmentation."

Protecting native species goes hand-in-hand with protecting the pristine habitats in which they live. Sadly, Mr. Rey’s record leaves much to be desired in this area. If the Bush Administration is serious about combating invasive species, it should abandon its many logging proposals, including its misguided proposal to repeal the Roadless Rule.


Ms. Sittenfeld is Co-director of the Heritage Forests Campaign and Conservation Advocate for US PIRG. The Heritage Forests Campaign is an alliance of conservationists, wildlife advocates, clergy, educators, scientists, and other Americans who are working together to uphold protection of our National Forests. ourforests.org.

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