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This Monday (tonight) - Protect the Blue Mountains!

~please spread the word and pass on - don't miss this opportunity to show your support for forest protection east of the Cascades~

Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision 'Workshop' - open to public!

Monday, July 19 - 6pm - 9pm
(open house at 6; presentations at 6:45)
Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel
1000 NE Multnomah St.
Portland, Oregon
Please attend the only public meeting west of the Cascades on the
upcoming 10 year Forest Plan revision for the Malheur, Umatilla, and
Wallowa Whitman National Forests.

Monday, July 19 - 6pm - 9pm (open house at 6; presentations at 6:45)

Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel

1000 NE Multnomah St.

Portland, Oregon

Your voice can make the difference—between wilderness and old growth -
or clearcuts.

On Monday, July 19 in Portland (and Tuesday, July 20 in Pasco, WA) the
Forest Service is having public meetings to help determine future
management of three of Oregon's most important national forests. The
three forests are the Umatilla, the Malheur, and the Wallowa-Whitman,
home to the headwaters of the John Day and Grande Ronde Rivers, the
Strawberry Mountains, and forests of stately ponderosa pine and high
elevation fir.

These meetings were proposed just recently, at the last minute. Before
now, the attitude of the Forest Service was that it was only important
to meet with communities within close proximity to the national forests
in question. Several conservation groups pointed out that many of the
forest's visitors were from places like Portland, Bend or Spokane and
have strong feelings on how they would like to see their favorite
places in these forests treated (or left alone).

Not Considering Wilderness Recommendations:

At a recent meeting the planning staff for the Forest Service indicated
that one issue they are not planning to deal with is wilderness
recommendations. They said the public was not interested in wilderness.
This is just one issue where the commodity interests may get their way.
This is why it is important for you to attend one of these public

What's at stake is huge. The public lands that are by managed by the
Forest Service in these 3 forests totals 5,135,000 acres—and contains
creeks and rivers, hiking and skiing trails, habitat for wildlife and
endangered species, and recreation and wilderness opportunities often
not found elsewhere. These lands also contain valuable commodities
coveted by the timber, mining, and grazing interests.

Roadless Lands are Threatened:

Adding all the inventoried roadless acreage for these forests, there
are 874,000 acres without any logging roads (as well as thousands of acres
of un-inventoried roadless lands). With the Administration's recent
attack and the weakening of the roadless rule, the fate of these
roadless lands will likely be determined through the forest plan
revision process that is starting with these public meetings.

Old Growth Forests at Risk:

Currently, in national forests east of the Cascades there is generally
a restriction on cutting trees over 21 inches in diameter (the 'east side
screens') in part to protect salmon habitat. Will Forest Plan revisions
mean that this important provision is lost? Eastside forests are also
acutely threatened by the Healthy Forests Initiative and the Healthy
Forests Restoration Act. How will the Forest Service implement these
new tools for additional logging on the ground and integrate them with the
new Blue Mountains Forest Plan? Will rare eastside pine and fir old
growth forests gain the greater protection they deserve?

Your voice and your presence in Portland will help insure that those
special places on these forests that you care about have a voice and an

The location and the time of the meeting is:

Monday, July 19 - 6pm - 9pm (open house at 6; presentations at 6:45)

Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel

1000 NE Multnomah St.

Contact Ivan Maluski at the Sierra Club for further details at
503-243-6656, x304 or  ivan.maluski@sierraclub.org
<mailto: ivan.maluski@sierraclub.org>

Blue Mountains Community Collaboration Workshops
To Be Held in Portland and Tri-Cities

Community Collaboration Workshops will be held in Portland, Oregon and
Pasco, Washington on July 19 and 20. These workshops provide
opportunities for the public to participate in the Blue Mountains Forest Plan

These two additional workshops are being offered in response to
requests from forest users outside the Blue Mountain area and will explore what people appreciate about the Blue Mountains, what's important to them,
and what they want the forests for.

The Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests,
collectively referred to as the Blue Mountains national forests, are beginning the effort to revise their Forest Plans. According to Dave Schmitt, Team Leader for the four-year revision effort, "We want to work with
everyone who is interested in the Forest Plans and who will be affected by them, and we are committed to effective collaboration. We have started our
collaborative effort by holding workshops in eight communities across
the Blues in June and July, and we look forward to bringing our workshops
to Portland and Pasco as well."

The Forest Service wants to work together with local communities to
develop a vision for the future management of the area. At these workshops,
participants will be engaged in a vision activity. By asking people
what they want their forests for and why that is important, the Forest Plan
Revision Team will gather information about what people care about,
what they want the forests to look like, what they expect the forests to
provide, and what conditions they want to exist on the forests. The
workshops will run from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The first 45 minutes of each
workshop will be in "open house" format with displays on current
resource conditions. Revision Team members will be present to discuss interests and answer questions. Presentations and activities will begin at about 6:45

| Community/Date | Location |
| Portland, OR |Doubletree Portland - Lloyd Center |
| July 19 |1000 NE Multnomah St. |
| Pasco, WA |Franklin County Public Utilities District |
| July 20 |Office |
| |1411 W. Clark St. |

For those who would like to participate in the revision process but
attend a workshop, information is also being accepted by phone, through
U.S. mail, and the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision website:
< http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/uma/blue_mtn_planrevision/>.

The area covered by the forest plan revisions is about 5.3 million
acres of national forest lands in northeast Oregon, southeast Washington, and
west-central Idaho. The revision will also address the Snow Mountain
District of the Ochoco National Forest which is administered by the
Malheur National Forest. Forest Plans provide broad direction to the Forest
Service about how to manage all of the resources on national forest

For more information,
contact Tami Paulsen, Public Affairs Specialist at 541-523-1332
or Dave Schmitt, Team Leader, at 541-523-1248.

Speak Out For Eastern Oregon Wilderness! 19.Jul.2004 12:04


Speak Out For Eastern Oregon Wilderness!
Portland Hearing Offers Rare Opportunity to Help Protect Wilderness and Old-Growth in the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests.
Speak Out for Eastern Oregon Wilderness!

A rare public hearing on the future of wild lands within the Umatilla, Malheur, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests is being held in Portland on July 19th.

Please come and voice your support for protecting old-growth forests and potential wilderness areas within these precious public lands!

The hearing will run from 6pm - 9pm (Open House at 6; Presentations at 6:45). It will be at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel at 1000 NE Multnomah St., Portland, Oregon

ONRC Alert #187 - July 16, 2004.
On Monday, July 19 in Portland the Forest Service will hold a public meeting to help determine future of three of Oregon's most important National Forests. The three forests are the Umatilla, the Malheur, and the Wallowa-Whitman, home to the headwaters of the John Day and Grande Ronde Rivers, the Strawberry Mountains, and forests of stately ponderosa pine and high elevation fir.

Under the terms of the 1984 Oregon Wilderness Act, the Forest Service could not conduct new Wilderness inventories until federal forest management plans are revised. This is now being done for these three forests. Known as the "Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision," this process should result in a framework for future designation of forest Wilderness in Oregon. However, the planning staff for the Forest Service recently indicated that they do not plan to include any wilderness recommendations in this revision! They said the public is not interested in protecting wilderness!

The Portland meeting was scheduled at the last minute after the Forest Service finally consented to the request of the conservation community for a meeting west of the Cascades. Until now, the attitude of the Forest Service was that it was important to meet only with communities close to these national forests. This is one reason why your attendance is so important!

What is at stake?

The public lands by managed by the Forest Service in these forests total 5,135,000 acres. They shelter creeks and rivers, hiking and skiing trails, habitat for wildlife and endangered species, and amazing fishing, hunting and other recreation opportunities. These precious public lands are home to an incredible diversity of fish and wildlife, ranging from threatened bull trout and steelhead to elk and river otters. But these lands also contain commodities coveted by timber, mining, and grazing interests, and they are placing intense political pressure on the Forest Service to throw open these lands to development.

Wild Lands Threatened -- With the Administration's recent efforts to completely gut the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, the fate of 874,000 acres of roadless forest lands within these forests will likely be determined through the forest plan revision process. These areas were identified, or "inventoried", by the Forest Service by the late 1970's. However, the Forest Service inventories overlooked many pristine areas east of the Cascades. Bureaucrats have been loathe to support more wilderness designations because that means losing budget dollars for road building and timber sales, a formula on which the agency has thrived. ONRC has supported over 400 volunteers who, armed with state-of-the-art maps, identified 1.7 million acres of wild, roadless areas suitable for wilderness designation.

Old Growth Forests at Risk -- In National Forests east of the Cascades there is a general restriction, put in place by the Clinton administration, on cutting trees over 21 inches in diameter (the "East Side Screens"). Representative Greg Walden and Senator Gordon Smith are organizing local opposition to this administrative protection. They are seeking help from the Bush administration to cut east-side old-growth trees. This hearing is your chance to weigh in in opposition to these short-sighted efforts, and to voice your support for protection of these important wild lands east of the Cascades!

What you can do:

Please attend this important public hearing and voice your protecting the wild lands within these National Forests! Ask the Forest Service to:

Inventory roadless areas 1,000 acres and greater in size;
Recommend wilderness designations for these areas;
Protect old-growth trees and old-growth forests;
Respect the scientific recommendations of the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project;
Focus projects to reduce wildfire threats on areas near communities;
Focus "restoration" on brush and small trees less then 12 inches--no old growth logging projects disguised as "restoration"; and
Reduce or eliminate livestock grazing (particularly in sensitive roadless and riparian areas)
The hearing will be held on Monday, July 19, from 6pm - 9pm (Open House at 6; Presentations at 6:45). It will be at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel at 1000 NE Multnomah St., Portland, Oregon. Please come and voice your support for protecting wild lands in Oregon!

If you cannot attend, you can still show your support for protecting these lands by sending comments to: Dave Schmitt, Team Leader (541) 523-1248 or sending email to:  blue_mtn_planrevision@fs.fed.us mailto: blue_mtn_planrevision@fs.fed.us

The Forest Service has more information on the Blue Mountain Plan revision up on their web site at:  http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/uma/blue_mtn_planrevision/

Strawberry Lake, Malheur NF
Strawberry Lake, Malheur NF

Protect Blue Mountains Forests! 19.Jul.2004 15:29

PROWL prowl@cascadiarising.org

Thanks to folks for trying to get the word out as much as possible about this on incredibly short notice. Also, thanks in advance to those going to the Portland event. I would like to add a few suggestions (in addition to the list above) for recommendations to the Forest Service.

1) While it was mentioned above, I just wanted to emphasize the importance of discontinuing livestock grazing on most or all Blue Mountains forests. It has caused severe degradation to soils, vegetation, streams, and fish, and damage tends to be oncentrated in riparian areas (hopefully I was able to attach a couple of photos showing livestock grazing effects along streams). It may come as a suprise to some, but even designated wilderness areas are not off-limits to livestock grazing, so please recommend that livestock be removed from those areas as well.
Also, it is highly important that the planning process for any kind of damaging activity (such as logging, mining, pesticide spraying, etc.) include grazing in it's analysis of cumulative impacts.

2) The forests need to be managed to protect biodiversity and ecological integrity. Unlike westside forests managed under the Northwest Forest Plan, we haven't lost Survey and Manage protections for eastside forests--because we never had them. Comprehensive surveys for Endangered, Protected, Threatened, Rare, Sensitive and Management Indicator species need to be done anytime they are considering disrupting potential habitat for those species.

3) Do not decrease standards for maximum allowable soil disturbance. It is not acceptable to allow soil damage as long as there's a plan to "mitigate" the damage later. Besides recommending that restoration thinning be limited to trees less than 12" diameter, it's also important to specify that doing this with hand crews (rather than heavy, soil-damaging, job-reducing machinery) is a much better way to go.

4) Eliminate lethal and toxic predator and pest control methods. Stopping grazing and the creation of tree plantations will take away a lot of the supposed "need" for such activities.

5) When you talk about focusing fuels reduction "on or near communities", specify that these activities should be focused within 500 meters of communities, the distance that United States Forest Service Research has found to be most important in treating to increase the chance of residences and buildings not burning in a wildfire.

6) Please specify what you mean if you say "protect old-growth and mature forests." As has been mentioned, it's important that the "21 inch" rule not be ditched and stronger legal protections are needed. However, timber sales that aim to degrade old-growth habitat on the eastside have continued to be planned. In order to make up the volume lost by the 21 inch rule, timber sale planners plan sales over many thousands of acres that completely gut the understory! Also, they don't have to follow any sort of diameter limit for post-fire "salvage" sales. Speaking of which...

7) They need to have give greater protections for post-fire salvage sales, such as following the recommendations of fire ecologists by not even CONSIDERING any kind of extractive activities for several years in burned areas.

8) Use fire as a management tool in areas where it's appropriate, but focus prescribed burning in the late fall, rather than spring when many birds and other animals area rearing their young and many flowering plants are in bloom.