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[GreenYes] FW: Earth Action, 8/8/01
Please place on list serve.


-----Original Message-----
From: Caitlin Leeger
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 9:57 AM
Importance: High

I hope you all don't mind my sending this to you. If we all don't get
involved, we will have no one to blame but ourselves when our forests, clean
air, sea life and endangered species are only a memory!

The Bulletin for Environmental Activists

August 8, 2001
In This Issue:

--Action Alerts--

1. WILD FORESTS PROTECTION: Tell the Bush administration to uphold the
rule preserving our last wild national forests

2. ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION: Urge your representative to oppose
the Army's expansion into endangered desert tortoise habitat

--Updates on Previous Alerts--


You will also find these alerts in NRDC'S Earth Action Center, which
includes tools for taking action easily online, at

(Please do not reply to this message; see the instructions below for
how to unsubscribe or contact NRDC with questions or comments.)

Action Alerts

Tell the Bush administration to uphold the rule preserving our last
wild national forests

Earlier this year, we reported on the landmark rule adopted by the
outgoing Clinton administration that banned logging and roadbuilding
in over 58 million acres of wild roadless areas in our national
forests. Since then, however, the Bush administration has launched a
stealth attack on the largest nationwide public land conservation
decision in America's history. First, Bush officials delayed
implementing the roadless rule, then they refused to defend a lawsuit
brought by industry and its allies challenging the rule. Now, while
proclaiming its commitment to wilderness values, the administration
has started a formal process to gut the rule by allowing individual
national forests to opt out of it, one roadless wildland at a time.
That would turn back the clock to the old piecemeal decision process
that allowed millions of pristine acres to be developed every decade.

Our forest wildlands serve as vital habitat for threatened and
endangered species, provide priceless recreational opportunities, and
ensure clean drinking water. The roadless rule currently protects all
roadless areas from damaging activities including logging, mining and
oil and gas development. If the administration's proposed change goes
forward, however, millions of acres of our last wild lands will be at
risk -- including the Tongass rainforest, the heart of the world's
largest remaining temperate rainforest. The Tongass, with more
roadless back country than any other national forest, spans 500
awe-inspiring miles of Alaska's coast and is home to towering groves
of ancient trees, the world's largest concentrations of grizzly bears
and bald eagles, and wild rivers that teem with salmon.

An official comment period is currently underway; comments must be
received by September 10th.

== What to do ==
Send a message to the Forest Service before the September 10th comment
deadline, insisting that the rule be implemented -- and defended -- as
it now stands.

== Contact information ==
You can send an official comment directly from NRDC's Earth Action
Center at Or use the contact information
and sample letter below to send your own message, and please include
your own reasons why protecting these last wild forest lands from
logging, mining and drilling is important to you.

Roadless ANPR Comments
USDA-Forest Service - CAT
P.O. Box 221090
Salt Lake City, Utah 84122
Fax:  801-296-4090

== Sample letter ==

Subject: Roadless ANPR comments - Preserve the current rule protecting
our last wild national forests

Dear Forest Service Chief Bosworth,

I strongly oppose any change to the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
The current rule protects our last, best forests, as well as nearby
communities, homes, and property, and strikes a balance between
preserving our remaining wildlands and accommodating competing uses;
there is no need to amend the rule in any way. I particularly oppose
allowing individual national forests to opt out of the rule and decide
to go back to logging, building roads in, or otherwise developing
these pristine wild areas, above all those in Alaska's Tongass

A million and a half Americans have already gone on record supporting
this rule -- don't ignore this huge outpouring of public sentiment.
Implement the original rule immediately, and defend it against
industry and other lawsuits, so these last wild forest lands will
remain a legacy for future generations.


[Your name and address]

Urge your representative to oppose the Army's expansion into
endangered desert tortoise habitat

Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved a provision in
the Defense department authorization bill that would give the U.S.
Army 110,000 acres of public lands and critical desert tortoise
habitat for expanded tank training exercises. The bill would add this
area to the Army's sprawling 642,000-acre Fort Irwin National Training
Center in California's Mojave Desert.

The proposed expansion area includes 45,000 acres of Wilderness Study
Areas -- home to desert bighorn sheep, sacred Native American sites
and part of the historic Old Spanish Emigrant Trail -- that would be
sacrificed to tank maneuvers. Tanks would also overrun irreplaceable
habitat for the threatened desert tortoise -- California's state
reptile -- including thousands of acres designated as "critical" for
its survival. What's more, the bill would "fast-track" the expansion,
giving these lands to the Army before it complies with environmental
laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act and the
Endangered Species Act.

The bill will be sent to the House floor shortly after Congress
returns from its August recess.

== What to do ==
Send a message to your representative urging him or her to oppose this
devastating legislation and to demand that environmental laws be
complied with before any expansion is authorized.

== Contact information ==
You can email or fax your representative directly from NRDC's Earth
Action Center at If you prefer to call
your representative, the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

Updates on Previous Alerts

In our last alert we asked you to urge your representative to reject a
proposal to allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge and to pass an energy bill that would protect the refuge, close
the SUV fuel efficiency loophole, and promote clean, renewable energy
sources. Despite our best efforts, however, on August 1st and 2nd the
House passed a grossly unbalanced energy bill that would open the
refuge to oil and gas drilling, subsidize the worst polluting energy
industries to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, despoil public
lands and exacerbate global warming. Congress is on recess this month,
but after Labor Day the fight will move to the Senate. In the
meantime, we'll be asking you in future alerts to hold your reps
accountable for their votes and to tell your senators you expect them
to undo the damage wrought by the House -- so stay tuned.

In March we asked you to send comments to the EPA as it considered a
plan to dredge the Hudson River of toxic PCBs, urging it to move
forward with the clean-up and to require General Electric (which had
dumped the chemicals into the river over a period of 30 years) to foot
the bill. On August 1st, the EPA announced it will proceed with
dredging, and will further order GE to pay the costs, estimated at
nearly half a billion dollars, even though the company spent nearly
$15 million on lobbying and advertising in opposition to the clean-up.
Overwhelming public support clearly helped counter GE's money and
influence -- THANK YOU to all who helped achieve this victory for one
of America's greatest rivers.

In April we asked you to urge Interior secretary Gale Norton to
approve the proposed management plan for Florida's Dry Tortugas
National Park that set aside a portion of the park as an ecological
reserve. On July 27th, Secretary Norton signed off on the plan,
clearing the way for the country's largest (nearly 200 square nautical
miles) marine reserve and establishing America's first true Ocean
Wilderness Area. The newly designated area will also comprise the
third largest coral reef protected area in the world. Over the next
several months NRDC will monitor the management plan's implementation
process, but in the meantime, thanks to everyone who wrote to
Secretary Norton in support of boosting protections for this amazing
marine environment.

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