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Stop Old Growth Clear-Cutting in the Mt. Hood National Forest!

SLINKY TIMBER SALE TALKING POINTS: Preliminary EA Comments Due July 30th!
(Mail by July 25th to ensure their arrival by the following wednesday!)
Hey all, there was a BARK hike a couple weekends ago, and we saw the beauty of the intact stands and the travesty of some of the surrounding areas, from the "scenic vista" that overlooked the breathtaking landscape, dotted with clearcuts, and took a look at the "plan" for the area... more of the same, layers upon layers of clearcuts... all contained within different proposals of course, but when layered on top of each other, it clearly shows the intentions for this area. This will no longer be a forest for future generations to enjoy, as we did the other day.

I strongly encourage you all to take a minute, cut and paste and alter a few words in one or more of the talking points below. Mention especially if you are a visitor to the Mt. Hood Forest. The Oak Grove Watershed where this and many other timber sales are planned, is where the water supply for well over 100,000 local residents is located, and like Bull Run, needs to be protected before, not after the effects of siltation and soil degradation impact this water supply. Local economies are heavily reliant on tourism and recreation dollars, especially in these precarious times. Logging is now mechanized and for well over a decade since NAFTA there have been very few jobs generated by logging off our public lands.

Only 4% of the wood used in this country comes from National Forests. There is a glut on the market right now, and softwood lumber prices are extremely low. There is no need for these forests to become lumber. Contrary to the rhetoric the Forest DisService would like us to believe, tree plantations are not the same thing as diverse forests. Habitat degradation is forever, and these proposals don't involve mitigation (fixing the damage done by logging after the fact), nor is there money in the budget for mitigation of existing impacts from past logging practices. The roads continue to dump silt into the water supplies, and more and more roads get built, with no attempts to decommission the old ones.... or deal with soil erosion resulting from the impacts of heavy machinery on steep slopes.

Please write your comment today. And print out an extra copy to send or email to Bark. This sale is the first one in the Mt. Hood forest, that under the latest legislation that the Bush administration has passed, can be changed at the last minute with no further possibility for public comment. It is important that Bark has a clear record of who made what comments, so that they can contact you in the future if a lawsuit is needed to defeat these sales.

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Stop Old Growth Clear-Cutting in the Mt. Hood National Forest!
Oak Grove Watershed: 184 more old-growth acres at risk
Deadline: July 30th, 2003
Send Comments to:
Jim Rice
595 NW Industrial Way
Estacada,OR 97023
503-630-6861
 jrrice@fs.fed.us
Make sure to also send Bark a copy of your comments. The Forest Service is attempting to implement Bush's altered rules on public comments, and we want to make sure they count yours. Comments can be emailed to  info@bark-out.org, mailed to Bark, PO Box 12065, Portland, OR 97212 or dropped off at our office at corner of NE Russell and MLK. Call first at (503) 331-0374.

SAMPLE COMMENTS:
1) Please Choose the No-Action Alternative. I would like to see an end to commercial logging on public lands, including Mt. Hood National Forest. Please move forward with restoration plans for the Slinky area that involve no commercial harvest, such as road closures and noxious weed removal. The times have changed and projects that liquidate the remnant public old-growth forests are no longer supported by the majority of the Americans.

2) Old Growth Logging: The elimination of old-growth ecosystems on public land is no longer a divisive issue; quite simply, it is not an acceptable course of action on our public forest land. The preliminary Slinky EA does not sufficiently analyze the forest ecosystem damage caused by clear-cutting our last mature and old-growth forests. Islands of old growth are critical for species viability and to prevent local species expatriation. Local populations of fungi, lichens, bryophytes, arthropods, vascular plants, small mammals, amphibians and some bird species will be at risk. Additionally several species of migratory song birds, spotted owls, Oregon slender salamanders, California wolverines, Pacific Fishers, bobcats, and several species dropped from the Survey and Manage List are likely be hurt by this sale. It will take many decades for the Late Successional Reserves and Riparian Reserves, which are intended to support these species, to recover from past logging.

3) Economics: The economic analysis of the preliminary Slinky EA is faulty. There is no analysis of the economic loss that logging causes by polluting drinking water, hurting recreational opportunities, and removing jobs from the special forest product industry. Numerous studies have found that increased old growth logging actually hurts (rather than improves) the local and regional economies of Oregon. Mechanization in logging and automation in milling has permanently eliminated forest products jobs; even during the peak logging years (1978-1988) in the PNW there was a 20% loss of forest products jobs. In spite of the increased demand due to home building there is a glut of timber on the market; timber sales that are currently being auctioned by the Mt. Hood National Forest are selling below estimated valuation.

4) Cumulative Impacts: The preliminary EA for the Slinky Timber Sale does not adequately analyze the cumulative impacts of the sale to the Oak Grove and Upper Clackamas Watersheds. For example, the preliminary EA admits to having completed/planned the clearcutting of over 1600 acres of old growth in both watersheds over the last 8 years. However, the document fails to highlight that 72% of the projected logging in the Oak Grove Watershed and 50% of the projected logging in the Upper Clackamas Watershed are scheduled to take place this year.
Help us Protect Mt. Hood National Forest! Cancel the Slinky Timber Sale!

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