BLM's “Whopper” is Here!
The Bush administration is working hard to unravel the Northwest Forest Plan before leaving office.
On October 9, 2008, the BLM released its Final Environmental Impact
Statement for the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR). Since the Bush
administration first announced it would revise the plans for 2.6
million acres of Bureau of Land Management forests in western Oregon,
reactions have been fairly constant: the timber industry loves it, and
everyone else hates it.
The Bush Land Management Legacy
When the BLM released the WOPR draft plan in 2007, 30,000 members of the public commented; over 90% asked the BLM to save the remaining older forests, protect clean drinking water, and concentrate forest management on restoration and thinning small trees to protect communities from wildfire. The BLM ignored this common ground, common sense approach to forest management.
More of the Same
The final plan will mirror the draft in most regards. It will: 1) remove BLM forests from the scientific framework of the Northwest Forest Plan; 2) ramp up clearcut logging across hundreds of thousands of acres; 3) remove streamside buffers that protect clean water and fish; and 4) log some of the last remaining older forests in western Oregon.
By The Numbers
The WOPR will increase logging by nearly 400% compared to current logging levels; get over 70% of the timber volume from clearcutting; shrink streamside reserves by 50%; add 180 million tons more carbon to the atmosphere compared to no logging (equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 1 million cars driven for 132 years) and result in 1,300 miles of new roads.
Take Action today!
The Final Plan outlines a destructive management strategy that KS Wild and our allies will continue to challenge, and we need your help. Under law, Governor Kulongoski is allowed a 60-day "consistency review" period. Governor Kulongoski is the only elected official standing between the Bush Administration and western Oregon's forests and salmon. It is imperative that the governor hears from you today! If you live outside of the state, please do contact Oregon's Governor and remind him that these are public forests - entrusted to the government to manage on behalf of all Americans. Let him know you value these public lands - that you visit them, recreate in them and value them for the wildlife habitat, water and climate services they provide.
Please contact Governor Kulongoski and ask that he help protect all
of Oregon’s remaining public old-growth and not promote clearcutting on our public lands. Urge him to reject the WOPR and tell the BLM to come back with a plan that moves us forward in the forest.
Snail mail: 160 State Capitol, 900 Court St., Salem, Oregon 97301-4047;
Email online: www.governor.state.or.us.
In related news...
County Payments Passes
Bailout Prompts Congress to Act For Rural Counties
In early October, the world watched as the U.S. Congress bailed out a hemorrhaging Wall Street in a historic governmental intervention. Less known was that the Secure Rural Schools and Self-Determination Act, also known as “county payments,” was attached to the bailout. Originally passed in 2000, the law authorized funds for rural counties that were dependent on logging public lands to maintain libraries, law enforcement and other public services. The law expired in 2006, and the Oregon delegation has been working tirelessly to renew it, under nearly insurmountable opposition. In all, payments go to 700 counties in 39 states, with the majority in the West. This four year extension of county payments offers Western Oregon counties an opportunity to wean off federal payments and develop a sustainable economy.