[MCN] 260+ Scientists Urge Senate Not to Pass Timber Industry's Public Lands Logging Bills

Matthew Koehler mattykoehler at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 15:04:30 EDT 2015

Note: The list of scientists opposing these public lands logging bills
include 7 from the University Of Montana system. You can TAKE ACTION at the
end of this email. Make sure both Senator Tester and Senator Daines know
that you oppose these public lands logging bills. This is especially
important since both Tester and Daines have been trying to dramatically
increase public lands logging through various forms of political mandates,
in some cases with the help of some environmental and conservation groups
in Montana, such as Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Trout
Unlimited, National Wildlife Federation, Yaak Valley Forest Council and the
Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

Matthew Koehler
WildWest Institute

Over 260 Scientists Urge Senate: Don’t Pass Post-Fire Logging Bills

September 24, 2015 Big Bear City*, California*—Over 260 scientists sent a
letter to the U.S. Senate and President Obama
them to oppose two public lands logging bills, being promoted by the timber
industry and their supporters in Congress, which the scientists say would
be very destructive to forest ecosystems and wildlife on National Forests
and other federal public forestlands. *The bills, HR 2647 and S 1691, will
not improve forest health, reduce fire risks or protect communities* by
promoting widespread logging of ecologically rich post-fire “snag forest”
and older forest in mostly remote areas of federal public forestlands.

Instead they would *degrade or destroy tens of thousands of acres of forest
habitat, eliminate most environmental analysis associated with this
logging, prevent enforcement of environmental laws by the courts, and
markedly reduce public participation in forest management decisions on
public forests. *The role of the timber industry in federal forest
management would also unfairly increase under the deceptive guise of
promoting decision-making by “collaborative” groups.

The scientists urged Congress and the Administration to oppose the
misguided bills, which “misrepresent scientific evidence,” and instead
focus on “ways for the public to co-exist with fires burning safely in the
backcountry.” They urged Senators and the President “to consider what the
science is telling us: that post-fire habitats created by fire, including
patches of severe fire, are ecological treasures rather than ecological
catastrophes, and that post-fire logging does far more harm than good to
public forests.”

Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, Chief Scientist of Geos Institute and co-leader
of the letter, stated, “Federal fire policy needs an overhaul to reign in
the out-of-control Forest Service fire fighting budget and focus it on
saving fire-fighter lives and homes. This misguided legislation would throw
gasoline on fires by promoting back-country logging that most often leaves
behind logging slash as kindling for the next fire.”

“Fire is not destroying our forests, rather, it is restoring these
ecosystems and is creating outstanding wildlife habitat that is as
biodiverse as old-growth forest, and even rarer,” said Dr. Chad Hanson,
another lead author of the scientist letter. “This is why over 260
scientists from across the nation are urging Senators and the President to
follow the science and oppose these logging bills,” he added.

Both DellaSala and Hanson are co-editors of a new book: “The Ecological
Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix” (Elsevier, Inc.)
The book includes the latest science on the ecological benefits of large
and intense fires and ways to coexist with fire.

*Contact:*  Dominick DellaSala, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Geos Institute:
(cell) 541-621-7223; (email) dominick at geosinstitute.org

<dominick at geosinstitute.org>Chad Hanson, Ph.D., Research Ecologist, John
Muir Project: (cell) 530-273-9290; (email) cthanson1 at gmail.com

<http://www.senate.gov/general/contacting.htm> (202) 224-3121 and the White
House <https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact> (202) 456-1111 today, or submit
an email comment online at their website – with the risk of a government
shutdown looming, bad bills like this can get wrapped into the spending
bill without seeing the light of day – please make sure your Senators know
that more logging and less oversight on public lands is not acceptable!
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