New Rule Opens National Forests To Development
By John Heilprin, Associated Press writer
Washington – The last 58.5 million acres of untouched national forests, which President Clinton had set aside for protection, were opened recently to possible logging, mining and other commercial uses by the Bush administration.
New rules from the U.S. Forest Service cover some of the most pristine federal land in 38 states and Puerto Rico. Ninety-seven percent of it is in 12 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Governors can submit petitions within 18 months to stop road building on some 34.3 million acres where it would now be permitted or request that new forest management land be written to allow the construction on some of the other 24.2 million acres.
Many officials make it clear much of the land will remain untouched. The Forest Service will have the final say over the governor’s petitions. But the agency is creating an advisory committee to help put the rule in place.
The agency said petitions from the states could be based in requests to protect public health and safety; reduce wildfire risks; conserve wildlife habitat; maintain dams, utilities or other public works; or ensure that people have access to their private property.
Jim Angell, a lawyer with the Earthjustice law firm, said plaintiffs already are lining up to challenge the changes that were announced on May 5th.
The column was edited for content and length.
The above story is a link to the unedited article below that brought tears to my eyes, because as a Native American who virtually grew up around the north woods and continues to visit the north woods, many people in this country can't see as I do the trashing of the environment that may not be here for our grandchildren.
As I travel north through Minnesota through Wisconsin to Duluth and on to Michigan I am appalled at the clear cutting, water pollution from paper processing plants. The crowds as I see through my eyes, ravaging on to obtain lake front property and harboring boats on water that you shouldn’t even touch with your hands because you may stir up toxins.
Pristine it is, as the rising sun dances across the water like twinkling stars, little do people realize that it’s what you can’t see that could hurt you; it’s what you don’t try to understand that will succumb to annihilation of the future generations and our Native people who have lived in the north woods for thousands of years.
This article represents the worst attempt at trying to sway the American public that it is not going to hurt the ecosystem, or the oldest trees left of the great national forests. Again we do not see what’s underneath or care to know, trusting that our government knows best so we will do nothing to stop the logging, further devastation of the last old growth forests.
How sad it is to realize that these national forests possibly provide for a balance when fossil fuels continue to pollute the air? I am just one person, a person in the masses of people, who sees something that could be possibly be the end to truly natural preserved forests that have been there for millenniums, who Presidents before have fought to protect for all the people. This ruling affects 38 states, what will be left before time will expose new subdivisions, malls?
We must get this out, as this article states:
GOVERNORS CAN SUBMIT PETITIONS WITHIN 18 MONTHS TO STOP ROAD BUILDING ON SOME OF THE 34.3 MILLION ACRES
So this will benefit who? People who made a choice to move next door to national forests and we should accommodate them to have road access so they can get to their destinations faster? Reduce wildfire risk? Why not move the people out of there, because it is the HUMAN who puts national forests at risk. Below the article further suggests-
“The states could be based on requests to protect public health and safety: reduce wildfire risks: conserve wildfire habitat: maintain dams, utilities or other public works; ensure that people have road access to their private property.”
Why not use this new ruling for governors to make a last ditch effort to stop this from happening?
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