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Logging Bills Moving Forward - Your Help Needed!

Logging Bills Before Congress in February Threaten Oregon Forests!
Stop Congressman Walden and Senator Smith from clearcutting Oregon's wildlands
Logging Bills Before Congress in February Threaten Oregon Forests!
Stop Congressman Walden and Senator Smith from clearcutting Oregon's wildlands

Contact Senator Wyden and your Representative TODAY and urge them to oppose HR 4200 and SB 2079, the Walden and Smith salvage logging bills - Background below

Please Take Action! Use the following talking points in letters and calls to Senator Wyden and your Representative, as well as letters to the editor of the Oregonian and other newspapers. Time is short - Congress begins a new session January 31, and these bills will be some of the first to be considered. Find complete Oregon Congressional phone, email and fax info here.

Senator Ron Wyden
Portland office: 503-326-7525
DC office: 202-224-5244
 http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/

Send letters of 150 words to the Oregonian at  letters@news.oregonian.com

Talking Points:

1) The Walden/Smith logging bills would eliminate meaningful public involvement and environmental analysis on many major decisions on logging in National Forests, without even the most basic environmental safeguards in place, such as protection for old growth forests, endangered species habitat, and wild, roadless forests.

2) The best science tells us that logging after fires does more harm than good and that forests recover best without logging. A recent article in the journal Science found that post-fire logging impedes natural forest regrowth and often increases fire risk. Anyone who has been to Yellowstone since the fires of 1988 knows how well natural recovery works.

3) Logging after natural disturbances is not restoration or recovery. Logging activity in sensitive post-fire forests destroys wildlife habitat and causes sediment runoff, which damages streams, rivers, drinking water and fish habitat. The Walden and Smith bills are not necessary, and will cause long-lasting damage to Oregon's public lands.

Background:
Using the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Oregon's Congressman Greg Walden and Senator Gordon Smith have introduced legislation to speed logging after periodic events such as forest fires and wind storms. Under the misguided notion that aggressive logging is the best way to restore forests after fires, HR 4200 and SB 2079 would eliminate meaningful environmental review and public involvement for logging on public lands. These bills give the Forest Service just 30 days to come up with logging plans after fires without even the most basic environmental safeguards, such as protection for old growth forests, roadless areas, or endangered species. After little or no public comment, logging would begin soon afterward. A wealth of science, including recently published research in Science magazine, has shown that forests recover naturally after fires, and that logging activities do more harm than good, often killing young trees and increasing fire risk.

Congressman Walden and Senator Smith are consistently some of the largest recipients of timber industry campaign contributions in the US Congress.

If these bills pass, old growth forests, wild roadless areas, and sensitive watersheds will be the target of rapidly planned logging with little or no public comment and shortcuts around environmental laws. Meanwhile, the Walden and Smith logging bills do nothing to protect communities from fire and will in fact divert scarce Forest Service resources away from community protection in favor of destructive logging.

For more information see  http://www.sierraclub.org/forests.

Thanks for your time and support!

Ivan Maluski
Conservation Coordinator
Oregon Chapter Sierra Club
2950 SE Stark, #110
Portland, OR 97214
503-238-0442, x304

Visit the Sierra Club's Oregon Chapter on the web at  http://www.oregon.sierraclub.org