Target: Cal Joyner, Regional Forester, Southwestern Region, U.S. Forest Service
Goal: Protect thousands of old-growth pine trees and the rare animals that depend on them from a proposed timber sale
The Kaibab National Forest, located along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, is home to thousands of ponderosa pine trees that are more than a century old. The U.S. Forest Service recently paved the way for their destruction by approving a timber auction that will offer the trees up to the highest bidder among several logging companies–all under the guise of forest restoration efforts. Conservation groups and concerned citizens across the U.S. have fought the sale for more than a decade.
Old-growth ponderosa pine trees are very rare and are vitally important to the survival of many species, including endangered Kaibab squirrels and northern goshawks. The Forest Service justifies its decision by citing a risk of fires, yet old-growth ponderosa pines are typically fire resistant. Conservation groups have proposed forest thinning plans as an alternative that would save the ponderosas from harm, but the Forest Service has rejected all such proposals. Opponents of the auction claim that the Forest Service is being aggressively lobbied by timber companies with the financial means to force the logging activity to move forward.
Let the Forest Service know that you disagree with their decision to hold a public timber auction which will lead to the destruction of thousands of old-growth pines and put the animals that rely on them at great risk. Urge the agency to take other measures to reduce the risk of future forest fires. Destroying rare old-growth ponderosa pines serves only to increase the profits of logging companies.
Dear Regional Forester Joyner,
After learning of the Forest Service’s proposed timber auction of old-growth ponderosa pines along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon I am writing to urge you to take alternative measures.
Removing old-growth pines will do little to reduce the risk of future forest fires, but is guaranteed to threaten the survival of rare animals that depend on the trees for their habitat. Endangered Kaibab squirrels and goshawks already face serious threats from human activity and climate change. Destroying their critically important habitat will place them on the path to extinction.
I urge you to support the continued survival of thousands of century-old ponderosa pines and the animals that rely on them. The Forest Service’s mission is to protect wildlife and the environment, not to help logging companies reap financial gain. Please, ensure that the proposed Kaibab timber auction does not take place.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kaibab National Forest via Flickr