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Proposed Meteor Timber Sale Could Devastate Salmon River comments due dec 21

Proposed Meteor Timber Sale Could Devastate Salmon River
Comments needed to protect this majestic watershed!
ACTION ALERT
Please Forward Widely

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The Klamath National Forest Service is proposing to log 744 acres in
the spectacular Salmon River watershed, threatening ancient forests,
Riparian Reserves, and Wild and Scenic River corridors.

The Salmon River is a key migration route between the Marble Mountain, Trinity Alps, Russian, and Siskiyou
Wilderness Areas. This is one of the wildest places in the lower 48 states and is currently
threatened with thousands of acres of logging. Through the Knob and Glassups Timber Sales - and now the Meteor - the Klamath National Forest aims to liquidate much of the remaining low elevation ancient
forest on both forks of the Salmon River.

The Salmon River is a critical source of clean, cold water to the beleaguered Klamath River watershed, where
thousands of salmon and other fish died due to reduced flows and high water temperatures. A
recent study by the National Academy of Sciences on the Klamath River calls for restricting logging in the cool streams that feed the Salmon River.

The Meteor Timber Sale began as the Comet Administrative Study, a 1,880 acre timber sale to "study" the effects of logging in an ancient forest on old growth dependant species. The Forest Service changed the purpose of the study when the Bush Administration began loosening the requirements to protect species
that rely on ancient forest habitat. The Comet then became the Knob and Meteor Timber Sales.

EPIC, the Klamath Forest Alliance, and Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center are challenging the Knob Timber Sale in federal court, and need your help to block the disastrous Meteor. The majestic Salmon
River is much too precious to lose, and the Forest Service must know that citizens from across the state and nation demand its protection. Please write the Klamath National Forest today and urge them to deny
the Meteor Timber Sale and to protect the Salmon River and these ancient forests. Key issues on the logging sale are below.

Comments must be submitted by December 21, 2003.
Please send them to:

Margaret Boland, Forest Supervisor
Klamath National Forest
1312 Fairlane Road
Yreka, CA 96097

For more information about the Meteor Timber
Sale, contact Lynda
Karns, Klamath National Forest, (503) 841-4469.

You can download a copy of the draft
Environmental Impact Report on
the Meteor at:

 http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/klamath/projects/projects/meteor/index.shtml


Key issues regarding the Meteor Timber Sale
include:

*Wilderness designation potential: Some logging
units are within
proposed Wilderness Areas.

*Wild and Scenic Corridors, loss of recreational
values: In both the
Knob and Meteor, logging would occur within the
designated Wild and
Scenic corridors of the North Fork of the Salmon
River, which is
renowned for its world-class, whitewater
recreation.

*Cumulative impacts on listed species: Through
all the current Salmon
River sales, much of the critical spotted owl
habitat - outside of
Late Successional Reserves - would be removed on
the two forks of the
river. The sales target much of the remaining low
elevation ancient
forests in the district and would affect all old
growth dependent
species in the area.

*Cumulative watershed impacts: Much of the Knob
and Meteor are in
landslide-prone decomposed granitic soils, and
many units are
directly along the river or in riparian reserves.
Also, the Salmon
River provides a critical source of cold water to
the Klamath River,
which supports the most productive chinook salmon
fishery in
California and also hosts coho salmon, green
sturgeon and other
critically imperiled fish species.

*Increased fuels risk: The logging units in the
Meteor target the
largest, most fire-resistant trees on the Salmon
River and in many
cases would leave only the fine fuels behind.
The Forest service
should be focusing on protecting communities from
fire - not creating
a more fire-prone landscape by removing all of
the large trees in a
remote area.
__

Cynthia Elkins
Environmental Protection Information Center
(EPIC)
P.O. Box 397, Garberville, CA 95542
(707) 923-2931, Fax 923-4210
 http://www.wildcalifornia.org