|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
JULY 14, 2004
|CONTACT: Sierra Club
Annie E. Strickler (202) 675-2384
Sierra Club Compares Forest Policy Records of President Bush and Senator Kerry
WASHINGTON - July 14 - Americans who care about protecting their homes, wild places and wildlife should take heart in Senator Kerrys National Forest policy proposed today. Senator Kerrys proposal recognizes the importance of protecting Americas wild and ancient forests for current and future generations and providing the necessary funds and resources to protect communities from wildfire.
The Bush administrations version of forest policy does little or nothing to reduce the risk of wildfire to Western communities while removing citizen participation, interfering with the judicial system and increasing commercial logging.
"President Bush and Senator Kerry offer very different priorities for the proper management of Americas National Forests," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. "Senator Kerrys proposal offers a strong framework for protecting the best qualities of our National Forests and creating valuable long-term jobs and economic benefits. President Bushs policy puts the interests of the timber industry first."
John Kerrys proposal would achieve the following:
· Instead of wasting taxpayers dollars to plan more clearcuts and build more subsidized logging roads for the timber industry, the proposal provides more funding and personnel for fuel reduction activities within the "wildland-urban interface" to best help protect communities.
· Protects the last remaining ancient and wild forests in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Sierra Nevada mountains, Northern Rockies and the rare old growth forests in the eastern United States.
The Bush administrations forest policies have:
· Shifted priorities to the commercial timber sales program instead of community protection.
· Rewritten the Roadless Area Conservation Rule and removed protections for Americas last remaining wild forests including the Tongass and Chugach National Forests;
· Dramatically increased timber sales and subsidies including: 50 timber sales planned in the Tongass alone; an extra $5 million to subsidize commercial timber sales in the Tongass; and a proposed $6 million on one of the largest timber sales in modern history in the remote Siskiyou Wild Rivers region in southern Oregon. This sale alone could cost taxpayers anywhere from $3 million to $100 million, according to the non-partisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense.