Target: USDA Forest Service Regional Forester Cal Joyner
Goal: Ensure that helicopters stay out of the Tonto National Forest.
A proposed initiative allowing the construction of hundreds of helicopter landings in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest must be revised by forest officials. While this good news is a step in the right direction, many are afraid that the new revision will continue to try to establish helicopter landings in wilderness areas and disrupt the environment.
The USDA’s Forest Service initiated the proposal in order to manage the bighorn sheep. Forest officials argue that it is necessary for these protected areas to be easily accessible because nearly 60 percent of the sheep’s population resides in these wilderness areas.
Several conservationists groups rallied together to oppose the Forest Service’s proposal, arguing that it violated the Wilderness Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Forest Management Act, and would subject many species living in these areas to danger. While the efforts of conservationists helped to send this proposal back to revision, there is no guarantee that the revised proposal will not continue to advocate for helicopter access throughout the Tonto National Forest.
The wilderness is a unique area nearly unaffected by humans or the actions of humans. These natural, thriving environments deserve protection from the proposed invasion of their territories. By signing this petition below, you will be asking the USDA Forest Service to remove any plans of new helicopter landings in wilderness areas in their new proposal. Areas unaffected by humans are becoming even more rare and we need to protect these remaining areas from any possible damage.
Dear Forester Joyner,
There are fewer and fewer areas of true wilderness found in America. Arizona’s Tonto National Forest is a rare and lucky place to have designated wilderness areas. There, animals and the environment thrive in their natural state, almost unaffected by humans and their actions.
However, a proposed plan threatened to disrupt this unique natural environment. The plan proposed the construction of hundreds of helicopter landings throughout wilderness areas so that these regions may be easily accessible to foresters. This plan contradicts the idea of the wilderness’ natural environment and threatens the safety of the animals living in it.
Because this plan has been objected and sent to be revised, I would like to encourage you to maintain the natural qualities of the wilderness in the revised proposal. I urge that you keep constructions, helicopter landings, and human activity out of these protected areas so that the environment may continue to thrive in its natural state. Please do your part to protect the Tonto National Forest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: John Fowler via Wikimedia Commons