[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Allegheny Nat'l. Forest Under Attack

  Distributed to TAP-RESOURCES, a free Internet Distribution List
  (subscription requests to listproc@tap.org) 
  (please distribute freely)
  August 2, 1996
  This post was prepared for TAP distribution by the 
  Environmental Resources Information Network on 
  behalf of Allegheny Defense Project (ADP).  Thanks 
  to Ned Daly and the folks at ADP for their assist-
  ance. -Arthur Clark, ERIN Project Coordinator
       The Allegheny National Forest is the only national forest in 
  Pennsylvania.  As such, it is of great concern to forest advocates of
  the Commonwealth.  Like other national forests, its management by the
  U.S. Forest Service is far from ecologically sound.  
       The Allegheny Defense Project (ADP) is a grassroots group of 
  forest defenders dedicated to fighting for the land and creatures of 
  the ANF.  ADP is a small, low-profile operation, so few people outside 
  of the area around the ANF have ever heard of it.  Until now, ADP has
  never sent out a call for outside assistance.  However, the situation 
  that ADP and the creatures of the ANF now face is very grave. We 
  urgently ask that everyone who can do so to help us study, challenge, 
  and defeat the monstrous timber sale proposal currently being planned 
  by the Forest Service for the ANF.  Below is a short description of 
  the sale, followed by what you can do to help defend the Alleghenies
  against this devastation.
  The "Forest Health" Scam Comes to Pennsylvania
       Under the guise of "treating" stands to counter the effects of
  "forest decline," the U.S. Forest Service is planning a massive 31 
  million board-feet (MMBF) timber sale project in Pennsylvania's 
  Allegheny National Forest.  The project is called "Mortality II."  
  It is the second phase of the ANF plan to supposedly improve 
  forest health by cutting both green and dying trees using 
  clearcutting, salvage thinning, and commercial thinning methods. 
  The first phase of this plan, the Mortality I project, is already 
  being implemented after approval in June 1995.  
       The Mortality II project calls for an initial 20.3 MMBF of 
  timber, cut from over 5,000 acres.  The cutting will occur in ten 
  delineated "Treatment Areas" throughout the Forest.  Additionally, 
  the project calls for over 10 MMBF of timber cutting on 2,000 
  acres, once regeneration is established in previously logged areas.
  Many of the Mortality II Treatment Areas are adjacent to areas to 
  be cut under the Mortality I project.  The close proximity of many 
  areas to be cut calls into question whether either the Mortality I 
  or Mortality II analysis can possibly evaluate what is essentially 
  one enormous project.  Last year's total annual cut on the ANF was 
  approximately 55 MMBF, less than twice the volume of the Mortality 
  II project alone.
       One might imagine that in planning such a massive project with
  such an obviously significant level of impact, that the Forest 
  Service might dispense with the formality of preparing an 
  Environmental Assessment (EA) to determine whether an Environmental 
  Impact Statement (EIS) or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) 
  is in order.  Not a chance.  In fact, the Mortality II EA issued by 
  the ANF was only 45 pages in length, excluding maps and appendices.  
       A preliminary examination of the EA by the ADP revealed 
  extremely serious problems with the information provided and the 
  project itself.  The following are but a small sampling of these:
     * clearcutting and salvage thinning of previously protected
       old growth stands
     * highly suspect "tiering" of the Mortality II EA to the 
       inadequate Mortality I project EA
     * project impacts on Pennsylvania-designated High Quality 
       (Tier 2) Cold Water Fishery trout streams, so designated 
       pursuant to the CWA
     * possible NEPA violations, including exclusion of scoping 
       comments submitted by ADP activist Jim Kleissler and failure 
       to respond to comments submitted by others
     * false and misleading descriptions and tables concerning 
       Present Conditions and Forest Plan-prescribed Desired Future 
       Conditions (DFCs) of the forest, used to justify the proposed 
       logging activities
       ADP urgently needs assistance in evaluating this project.  The
  COMMENT PERIOD FOR THE EA ENDS AUGUST 19.  Due to the terrible 
  inadequacy of the information provided to the public in the
  scoping letter and EA, ADP will be conducting a massive file review 
  of the Mortality I and Mortality II project files from August 12 
  through August 16.  Anyone who can travel to north-western 
  Pennsylvania to help is urged to come.  Please contact ADP as soon 
  as possible to make the necessary arrangements. (see "CONTACTS" 
  section below)
       All other people willing to help should also contact ADP 
  immediately.  We can use all the help we can get, in-person or on a
  consultation basis, with all of the following and more:
     * mailing or faxing letters about the sale:  write/fax
       and tell ANF Forest Supervisor John Palmer that an
       EIS is needed to properly study and document a 
       project of this size and potential impact; also 
       tell him there should be no logging of old growth
       areas, whether or not they are "officially"
       protected (see "CONTACTS" section below)
     * legal consultation on NEPA, FOIA, NFMA and ESA issues
     * guidance on interpretation of CIR (G R IR -> B G R) 
       1:12,000 aerial photos
     * fieldwork and consultation on locating listed or candidate
       species (both plants and animals, e.g. hellbender, n.
       goshawk, eastern small footed shrew, small-whorled 
       pogonia, etc.)
  To help:     
  Jim Kleissler
  Susan Curry
  P.O. Box 245
  Clarion, PA 16214
  (814) 226-5224
  (814) 678-2404 fax
  (scientific, legal and policy experts please contact ERIN at
   814-678-0007, 814-678-2404 fax or <aclark@essential.org> if
   you are inquiring during normal business hours Mon. - Fri.)
  To write letters to:
  John Palmer
  Forest Supervisor
  Allegheny National Forest
  P.O. Box 847
  Warren, PA 16365
  (814) 723-5150
  (814) 726-1465 fax
  TAP-RESOURCES is an Internet Distribution List provided by the
  Taxpayer Assets Project (TAP).  TAP was founded by Ralph Nader to
  monitor the management of government property, including
  information systems and data, government funded R&D, spectrum,
  allocation, public lands and mineral resources, and other
  government assets.  TAP-RESOURCES reports on TAP activities
  relating to natural resources policy.  To obtain further
  information about TAP send a note to tap@tap.org.
  Subscription requests to: listproc@tap.org with the
  message:  subscribe tap-resources yourfirstname yourlastname
  Taxpayer Assets Project; P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC  20036
  v. 202/387-8030; f. 202/234-5176; internet: tap@tap.org