National Call-In Day on Bad Fire Bill - Tomorrow - November 7
Congressman Scott McInnis' bad fire bill is likely to be pushed for a vote next week during the lame duck session of Congress. The McInnis bill passed through committee before Congress broke for the election recess. Key democrats including Mark Udall (D-CO) voted for the bill.
The bill would drastically limit citizen watch dogging by shortening time for review and appeal, eliminating consideration of alternative actions, and reducing time for judicial review to the point that it will be next to impossible to effectively challenge ecologically destructive projects. The bill also pushes provisions allowing trade of large valuable trees for logging and other services.
Negotiations on this destructive bill continue with other key democrats such as George Miller (D-CA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and moderate republicans including Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY). Congressmen Miller and DeFazio declined to vote for the bill earlier but have indicated a deal is still possible.
It is critical to call both the key congressmen (below) and your own congressperson, Representative Brian Baird, (202) 225-3536, and respectfully urge them to oppose H.R. 5319 and specifically to:
* Oppose any expedited procedures for hazardous fuels projects. The Forest Service is already abusing this program to justify old growth logging and entry into roadless areas Additional discretion for the agency is likely to cause additional harm to the forests. There is no justification for expedited procedures because there is no evidence that conservationists have been stopping legitimate fuel reduction projects.
* Oppose goods for services stewardship contracts that create an incentive to log old growth and other commercially valuable trees.
* Oppose any limits on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Without alternatives, NEPA is essentially gutted. In this case, it will allow the Forest Service to offer just one brand of fuel reduction projects (industrial logging grade) with little or no analysis about the potential environmental harm.
* Oppose any limits to judicial review
For more information or to review the bill.
Phone Fax Staff
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert 202/225-8772 226-0113 David Goldston
Rep. George Miller 202/225-2095 225-5609 Amelia Jenkins
Rep. Peter DeFazio 202/225-6416 225-0032 David Dreher
Rep. Mark Udall 202/225-2161 226-7840