Buffalonians and other folks from the Northeast are protesting their hearts out against “fracking,” that’s hydro-fracturing for you non-natural gas wonks, which pollutes water sources with chemicals like benzine. Fracking is one of several procedures that are becoming controversial with the recent accidents surrounding natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale of Appalachia. The state of New York has adopted a “Green” code for natural gas drilling, but it is highly deficient. See Finger Lakes Earth First! for more info.
In other news, a sign-on letter from the American Birds Conservancy is going out to Tom Tidwell, Chief of the Freddies, to protect forests in the Oregon and California. To sign on and show your support, e-mail your name, address to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for endorsements is June 28. See the letter below.
June 28, 2010
Tom Tidwell, Chief
U.S. Forest Service
Washington, D.C. 20250
Dear Chief Tidwell,
We had an opportunity to meet with your staff to discuss our concerns about the management of mature, old-growth and roadless forests and wish to thank Gloria Manning for her time and courtesy. As mentioned during the meeting we believe the Forest Service has an historic opportunity to address longstanding management conflicts and move forward with a restoration initiative that will create needed jobs while addressing National Forest maintenance backlogs.
The undersigned organizations appreciate the recent announcement about reducing logging of old growth on the Tongass National Forest and refocusing efforts to restoration. We urge a similar change for the remaining national forests that are still logging mature and old growth, particularly coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest that store more carbon per acre than tropical rainforests, should be part
of the administration’s climate change policies and commitments to the Copenhagen climate change accord. Moreover, additional habitat protection is urgently needed for the threatened Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet, both of which are in
We are very concerned about the preferred forest plan alternative under development as part of the George Washington National Forest plan revision that proposes to include some roadless areas in the suitable timber base and allows salvage logging in most roadless areas. This is inconsistent with Secretary Tom Vilsack’s recent announcement to extend the moratorium. We urge you to issue a directive that removes
inventoried and uninventoried roadless areas, and mature and old-growth forests (80 years and older) from the suitable timber base and to amend forest plans accordingly.
Every National Forest should have a reserve system of mature and old-growth forests. When combined with designated-Wilderness, roadless areas, and a similar system of riparian reserves, the Forest Service will be able to accomplish the critical tasks now before it; protecting clean water supplies, maintaining viable fish and wildlife populations, and storing carbon to help mitigate global warming. This is particularly important for the Eastern U.S., where old growth has been virtually eliminated, and continuing deforestation and fragmentation have created a severe shortage of interior forest habitats needed by the declining Cerulean and Kentucky Warblers, Wood Thrush and other species.
We would like to request an opportunity to meet with you to discuss these and other ideas concerning the conservation of the National Forests. Thank you for considering this request.