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[cdt-l] Timber sale on the CDT

Just re-read the article... A couple points

-Most of the burned trees near the divide are
Lodgepole Pine - not worth much $.  Looks like they
are eyeing the bigger trees at lower elevations. 

-Sad, the way they cite the $ amount & # of jobs in
their arguement.  Many of the locals already despise
environmental types, doesn't look like that'll change.

-Seen on a bumper sticker in Idaho: "Can't log it,
can't mine it, can't graze it, let it burn..." one
should add "... then we'll log it.".

-Does anyone know what group is filing with the court?


--- Slyatpct@aol.com wrote:
> I saw this story in the New York Times and was
> wondering how much it's going 
> to affect my hiking experience next year.  Not that
> I'm a fan of walking 
> through miles of scorched earth and deadfall, I'm
> sure I do not like the idea 
> of skiddahs and chainsaws disturbing my wilderness
> experience.
> Anyone here know if the sale and salvage of timber
> is on or near the CDT, 
> and/or if protection of the trail and safety of
> hikers in this area is being 
> considered by the FS?  When would something like
> this take place?
> Thanks for any insight, 
> Sly
> Bush administration cleared the way today for a
> gigantic sale of trees 
> charred last year by fires in a national forest in
> Montana and Idaho, 
> prompting two environmental groups to go to court to
> challenge the move.
> The administration action is a victory for the
> timber industry, which has 
> pushed for salvaging of the wood, from the
> Bitterroot National Forest, before 
> it rots or cracks and loses its value. The
> administration says it intends to 
> use the proceeds from the sales to restore some of
> the forest's watershed 
> areas by replanting trees, closing roads and
> protecting stream beds. 
> Officials also say quick removal of the timber will
> help prevent fires next 
> year. 
> More than 300,000 acres in the forest burned in the
> fires last year. Some 
> environmental groups argue that removing the wood
> will disrupt the natural 
> cycle of decomposition and promote runoff of
> sediment that could harm fish. 
> And they are worried about the method of today's
> decision, essentially, just 
> the signature of an administration official,
> eliminating the public appeal 
> process and forcing opponents to lodge their
> protests in court.
> They are seeking an injunction in Federal District
> Court in Missoula, Mont., 
> to block the sale, which the government has set to
> begin at noon on Wednesday.
> The plan calls for logging 181 million board feet of
> timber from more than 
> 46,000 acres of ponderosa pine trees that are dead
> or dying because of the 
> fires. The sale, which covers 30 sites within the
> forest, amounts to one of 
> the biggest salvage logging operations in the
> nation's history.
> The decision, announced and put in effect as of
> today, was signed on Sunday 
> by Mark Rey, under secretary for natural resources
> and environment in the 
> Agriculture Department and a former timber industry
> lobbyist.
> Mr. Rey said he agreed with Dale Bosworth, chief of
> the United States Forest 
> Service, "that immediate implementation of the
> projects will reduce 
> unacceptable risks to public safety, private
> property and the national forest 
> system resources."
> He and Mr. Bosworth have said there is no need to go
> through the customary 
> 45-day public appeals process because the timber
> needs to be salvaged quickly 
> and because environmental groups are already
> planning to sue. Mr. Rey said 
> the decision to bypass the appeals period was legal.
> Mr. Rey was expected to announce the decision last
> Friday but postponed doing 
> so, telling reporters he wanted to review how the
> salvaging would affect 
> downstream land and the local economy. He said the
> Forest Service had 
> estimated that the projects would generate 4,000
> jobs and pump more than $75 
> million into the economy. While he was not disputing
> those figures, he said, 
> he wanted to make sure that a "significant portion"
> of that money would help 
> the local economy.
> In today's four-paragraph announcement, he provided
> no details about the 
> economic effects, saying only that "these
> restoration projects provide 
> significant local economic benefit opportunities."
> He did discuss the process, asserting that the
> method of decision did not set 
> a precedent and was "an exception and not the rule."
> But environmental groups said the action set a
> dangerous precedent.
> "This is the first step down a slippery slope of
> shutting the public out," 
> said Bob Ekey, the Northern Rockies director of the
> Wilderness Society. "We 
> fear they are going to do away with appeals on
> controversial projects in the 
> future. They haven't indicated what the threshold is
> that they'll use, and 
> why this is the exception and not the rule."
> Mr. Ekey said the scope of the plan was excessive,
> with the number of board 
> feet being more than all timber logged in the
> Bitterroot over the last 15 
> years.
> "Some restoration projects in this are good, but we
> don't want them to use 
> those good restoration projects as an excuse to go
> in and do more damage to 
> the landscape through logging," he said.
> Doug Honnold, a lawyer with EarthJustice, a
> nonprofit law firm representing 
> the two environmental groups going to court, the
> Wilderness Society and 
> American Wildlands, is seeking an immediate
> injunction to block the sale. He 
> said the Department of Justice lawyers had agreed
> not to start the sale until 
> noon Wednesday.
> "It buys us 36 hours," Mr. Honnold said. "But if the
> Forest Service is not 
> willing to allow the public to take administrative
> appeals, we will take that 
> issue to a federal judge and let him decide."
> His legal argument is focused solely on the appeals
> process and does not take 
> up the environmental issues. 
> The service filed its first draft environmental
> impact statement on May 24 
> and a final one on Oct. 10. It then modified its
> proposal and issued its 
> decision today. The only formal comment period was
> in May, "long before the 
> real nuts and bolts of what they were planning to do
> was disclosed," Mr. 
> Honnold said.
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