House Bill Puts Timber Industry Profits Ahead of Sound Forest Policy
“This bill sweeps aside many key environmental protections and blatantly ignores well-established science on forest management,” stated Schlickeisen. “It jeopardizes healthy forest areas and significantly impedes the recovery of endangered plants and animals.”
Studies have shown that logging after fires causes increased flooding, delays regrowth and destroys habitat for wildlife. In fact, scientists agree that fires are a part of a natural cycle in a forest and the trees left behind are needed to restore the forest’s health.
“This bill is simply a windfall for timber companies because it grants them access to forests they might not otherwise be allowed to enter for years to come, if at all,” stated Schlickeisen. “The bill exempts logging and road construction in recently disturbed forests from compliance with the Endangered Species Act and other laws. It cuts out wildlife experts and the public, and authorizes unlimited harm to endangered or imperiled wildlife, precisely when legal protections and public input are needed most.”
The Firefighters United for Safety Ethics and Ecology (FUSEE) also sent a letter to Congress opposing the bill, saying that it will make their job fighting wildfires more difficult by accelerating the type of mismanagement that can greatly increase the risk of dangerous and damaging fires.
“The Walden bill can not be justified on scientific or economic grounds,” declared Schlickeisen. “It is a special interest kickback, pure and simple.”
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Deborah Bagocius, (202) 772-0239