Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tuesday Morning Action Plan to Save our National Forests

This morning we have one thing and only one thing to do. This is the day that every single one of us will email or fax the US Department of Agriculture and tell them we do NOT think that selling off 300,000 acres of our National Forests is a good idea.

I know that each of you read everything I linked to yesterday and we all have our reasons for opposing this sale ready to go. If not, I'm going to provide you with a few you can use. This is IMPORTANT! This is the MOST important step of this action plan. We will repeat it every day to make sure this email is sent! Before I provide a list, if you want to read the links from yesterday, here is Monday's Action Plan. Here are some reasons why we oppose this sale:

  • The proposal is skewed against the South, which has relatively little national forest land, a fast-growing population and increasing demand for backcountry recreation, yet would receive disproportionately fewer funds from the sell-off. For example, both North Carolina, with a total of 1.25 million acres of national forest, and Oregon, with a total of 15.55 million acres, have about 10,000 proposed for sale. Yet under the funding formula currently used, North Carolina would get just $1 million in 2006, while Oregon would get almost $163 million. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
  • ....selling off America’s natural heritage is not the way to fund government services. This move would set a dangerous precedent for years to come. It’s a reversal from the agency’s long-standing effort to add to the national forest system by acquiring important tracts that serve an ecological or recreational purpose. (SELC)
  • Selling off the land base does nothing to ensure adequate funding for rural schools in the future and does irreparable harm to our National Forests.

Copy and paste these points into an email if you haven't had time to write your own. Send your email to SRS_Land_Sales@fs.fed.us or your fax to (202) 205–1604. You may also mail a letter to USDA Forest Service, SRS Comments, Lands 4S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Mailstop 1124, Washington, DC 20250–0003, however electronic submissions are preferred.

The directions from the USDA: If you submit your comments by e-mail or fax, you do not need to send a paper copy by mail. Your comments may address the entire list of parcels identified in the President’s proposal, or an individual parcel or parcels on that list. If you are commenting about a specific parcel on the list, it would be helpful to provide the parcel’s number from the list and all information specifically related to the sale of that parcel.

I would like to thank the Southern Environmental Law center, Scrutiny Hooligans and the Asheville Citizen-Times for providing excellent coverage of this issue and making my life easier by doing so.


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