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Sample Comment due Dec 21 for Meteor Timber Sale that Could Devastate Salmon River

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.

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 ].

related: [ Meteor Timber sale elicits protests ]


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Sample Comment: (please feel free to cut and paste and get this in the mail TODAY!!)

Margaret Boland, Forest Supervisor
br> 1312 Fairlane Road
Yreka, CA 96097

Dec 18, 2003

Dear Ms. Boland,

Please take my comments on the Proposed Meteor Timber Sale DEIS into consideration when making your final decision on this sale.

As a frequent user of the National Forests throughout Oregon, I feel your agency has failed to consider the significance of the impacts this sale will have on the Salmon River ecosystem and the surrounding areas. While none are more important, and all impacts should be considered, I think that the following issues have not been adequately addressed in the DEIS and your preferred alternative. The cumulative impacts of the nearby Knob and Glassups Timber Sales will irreversibly impact this key migration corridor between the Siskiyou, Trinity Alps, and Marble Mountain Wilderness areas as well as destroying both forks of the Salmon River ecosystems and the tributaries that are essential to fish health in the Klamath River watershed.

The loss of recreational values is unmistakable. In this economy, losing valuable recreation dollars is a huge mistake, not to mention the impact on future generations. Tourism and Recreation comprises a much larger part of the economy in the Klamath Basin than does logging and agriculture combined, and will continue to be an important source of revenue for this region for generations to come if left alone. If this area is logged, many areas with the potential for wilderness designation will no longer be eligible to be designated as wilderness areas. 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.

The most obvious and egregious aspect of the DEIS is the failure to address or prevent the unavoidable cumulative impacts on listed species this sale and the other surrounding sales have on old growth dependent species; Throughout 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.

In complete defiance of the often expressed desire for decreasing fire risk, this sale will definitely increase the risk of flammable fuel loading in this area. This must be the outcome, because 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.

Please make the right decision and choose or create a no-action alternative that will help the economy by continuing to make this area one sought out by recreationists and one that supports a healthy ecosytem, instead of more of the same type of clearcut ridden hillsides, sedimented streambeds, devoid of wildlife. Please work toward restoring the damage done by the past logging, not by further destroying the few remaining wildlands left. I urge your agency to work to preserve and restore this precious area for future generations.