Since the passage of the National Scenic Area Act, a dramatic amount of logging has occurred within what is called the "general management area," or GMA. Scenic landscapes, fish and wildlife habitat, biodiversity, recreation and other resources have all been seriously impacted due to extensive clearcutting on GMA lands within the Scenic Area. Because of this devastating impact, it is critically important that the Forest Service focus on the protection and enhancement of scenic, natural, cultural and recreation resources of forested land within the SMA, as mandated by the Act.Clearcutting of protected forests for the purpose of conversion to agricultural use.
Instead, the proposals put forward by the agency would allow for:
Eliminating limits on the size of clearcuts. The Forest Service is actually proposing five different options; each option would eliminate some or all of the prescriptive guidelines that limit the size of all clearcuts in the SMA.
Clearcutting on federal forestland: Five of the six options proposed by the Forest Service involve allowing clearcuts on federal forestland within the SMA.
"Forest Health" Logging on Open Space lands "for vegetation management and for the restoration of forest health." Timber sales could not be the primary purpose of logging, but if an applicant claimed commercial logging wasn't their "primary" purpose, the sale could go through.
These changes would put thousands of acres of forests in the Gorge at
The Sierra Club's Position:
Prohibit clearcutting in the SMA.
Restrict created forest openings to a maximum of one acre on
non-federal forest land.
Prohibit all commercial timber harvests on federal forest land within the SMA, regardless of whether it is the primary purpose of the logging operation or a bi-product of vegetation management or habitat enhancement projects.
Prohibit all logging within lands designated or suitable as Open Space, regardless of ownership.
Prohibit all logging within the buffers of perennial or intermittent streams.
Adopt the buffers mandated by the Aquatic and Riparian Conservation
Strategy in the Northwest Forest Plan.
Prohibit use conversions in the SMA that involve clearing of forested
Prohibit timber harvest on lands zoned as Open Space.
Please take action today to demand that these SMA forestlands remain
Check the U.S. Forest Service Columbia River Gorge Web site.
For more information about the Sierra Club's Lewis and Clark campaign or to find out how you can help, contact email@example.com.