Tuesday Morning Action Plan - 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:

Look inside for the goodies...

  • * 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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Comments

I e-mailed this:

To whom it may concern:

I am writing in regards to the proposed massive sale of forest land. My objections to the sale of all parcels located in North Carolina are the following:
1) North Carolina is unfairly treated by the sale: The proposal is skewed against theNorth Carolina, 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.
2) The sale of land will not solve the school funding problems: Obviously, if there is a systematic failure to fund the federal obligation, that failure cannot be solved by continually selling off forest land. A long term solution must be to find other sources of income to fund the obligation.
3) The sale of land decreases the value of other forest land: By selling off any one parcel of land, the forest service reduces the value of the rest of their forest. Biological studies show that the larger the wilderness area, the healthier the biological life is within the wilderness. By sale of land to allow construction on the edges of the forest, the rest of the forest is diminished; therefore, the incremental dollars gained by sale would be lost to the depreciation in value of the rest of the forest.
4) Forest land provides economic value beyond the resources available therein: Tourist from around the world flock to our large national parks. Decreases in the size of the parks will hurt tourism and eliminate resources for the local communities and the forest service itself.

Sincerely,

Excellent email

I realize this has to pass Congress (don't worry, we're getting to them next!) but the more we talk it up and the longer we keep up the talk AND the more intelligent and well thought out our arguments are (Shooo) the more likely it is they will listen.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

This email link will be posted every day

until the final day for commenting. I should have started this earlier. We will have a different action plan next week, but this will always be the #1 thing to do.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The most important issue

This is the most important issue in WNC today. We all need to work together to make sure that no president ever squabbles our most valuable and beautiful lands.