Target: Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell
Goal: Fight climate change by stopping the mass destruction of forests via logging.
The National Climate Assessment identified deforestation as a primary driver of climate change even as we continue to log and clear cut larger and larger tracts of public lands. The U.S. Forest Service, on its web site, recognizes the threat of climate change and states: “healthy forests and grasslands help mitigate climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in plants and soils.” By this logic alone, our trees are far more valuable to our future standing up than they are as timber. However, in practice, recognition of climate change by the U.S. Forest Service shows no effect on the pace and scale of logging.
The Bowen Brook Logging Project in New Hampshire is the largest single project by far ever proposed for the White Mountain National Forest. Proposed in December 2014, the public was given a January comment period. Though a public hearing is required for all new proposals, none was offered. This is doubtless due to the project’s remote location and a January comment period made it impossible, even for activists, to access the area in order to view it.
Projected to remove a stunning 20-25 million board feet of timber, the U.S. Forest Service assured themselves a quiet process for their mammoth proposal. This cynical approach demonstrates how the public can be systematically prevented from the most minimal participation in the fate of their public legacy.
The public should be involved, at every level, in the management of our public lands, so they can remind government of its responsibility to fight climate change which includes opposing unnecessary deforestation. Turning our forests into timber at giveaway prices when there’s no market for the wood is completely unnecessary. Sign this petition to urge government officials to end logging on public lands.
Dear Secretary Jewell,
The American people are faced with a flagrant contradiction that government needs to resolve. The NCA identified deforestation as a primary driver of climate change. Therefore, one would assume the U.S. government would oppose deforestation wherever it could. However, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), while paying lip service to climate change, continues to astound with the size and scope of its logging. The Bowen Brook project alone will remove 20-25 million board feet of timber. It’s the largest logging project by fa, in the White Mountain National Forest and, of course, the wood will be dumped at well below market rates with the bill paid by the taxpayer.
This makes no sense when we need trees to survive. The sheer size of Bowen Brook cannot be passed off as “scientifically determined wildlife enhancement” or “scenic openings.” There is no justification for the massive and unnecessary hole in the woods Bowen Brook will create, the disruption to ecosystems that will result and, of course, the unnecessary contribution to climate change.
Because there is no justification for Bowen Brook, the U.S. Forest Service introduced this huge and remotely located logging project in December 2014 with a January 2015 comment period. Were they laughing when they made the site impossible to visit and opposition impossible to orchestrate? If USFS is going to be this cynical about the process, they should ask themselves why the public would continue to have any faith in them.
Clearly, the intent of USFS is to keep the public’s involvement as insignificant as possible. This is unacceptable in the face of irreversible climate change. We need to be working together, every way possible, to save our planet. With everyone’s future at risk, why are we logging public lands?
[Your Name Here]
Painting Credit: Art Rapid Response Team (ARRT!)