Amy has already posted this alert to Portland Indymedia last week, but I think hearing her words will have more of an impact than the written word. This audio file details the issue at hand which, basically, is the Forest Service wanting to close some of OUR public recreations sites as a cost cutting measure. This is ludicrous, as the Forest Service has been losing money for decades with their timber sale program, and now ask the public to help them decide what recreational sites be cut due to their incompetence or downright collusion with the timber industry.
This is not a contestable fact, as it is common knowledge that National Forests nationwide, in what amounts to corporate welfare, have lost billions of dollars over the last few decades through their logging programs. As Amy says in her talk, in the last fiscal year, no department of the Forest Service receive an increase in funding, EXCEPT for the timber sale division.
This is an opportunity to step forward and protect our recreation sites from being bull dozed, as has recently happened to some in Colorado, just days after the announcement that they were no longer going to be supported by the Forest Service.
At the Open House, we will be asked to choose which sites are the most important to us, which we visit the most and have the greatest attachment to. Yet, as Amy points out, perhaps the most important sites are the ones we haven't as yet explored, those which we will at some future time visit and will then become a part of us. This is no different than asking us which of our children we wish to save, condemning the others to destruction.
The Forest is not a collection of trees,
is not a river,
a colony of particular flora and fauna,
a trail leading off into some oft' visited and common place,
but an orchestra of all of these,
a symphony of life and living,
in the canopy,
on and under the ground,
an organism composed of threads beyond the capacity of our science to interpret and understand
It has all too often only succeeded in unraveling them
The Forest Service, and Congress, I'm sure, view our National Forest as a resource to be harvested, a commodity to be exploited, and the people are often left with the choice between revenue or forests, between present county dollars and future recreation sites for our children and grand children. A false choice, as you will learn listening to this 7 minute audio file.
This Open House concerns the Mt. Hood National Forest, but these are Federal lands, owned by the all the citizens of our country. Thus, no matter where you live, you have a voice in our public lands. We can also contact our representatives and tell them that this Recreation Site Facility Site Management Plan is a flawed process and needs to be withdrawn.
Audio File, RealPlayer
Audio File, MP3