Printer Friendly

CONSERVATIONISTS FILE SUIT AGAINST FOREST SERVICE TO PROTECT FORESTS AND APPEAL RIGHTS

 CONSERVATIONISTS FILE SUIT AGAINST FOREST SERVICE
 TO PROTECT FORESTS AND APPEAL RIGHTS
 SEATTLE, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Conservation groups today filed suit in federal court challenging U.S. Forest Service management of three national forests in Washington State. The lawsuit follows administrative appeals the same conservation groups filed on forest plans for the Okanaogan, Wenatchee, and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests located in the northern Cascade Mountains of Washington. The Chief of the Forest Service, F. Dale Robertson, issued denials of most points of the appeals last October.
 Mark Lawler of the Sierra Club said, "These Forest Service plans break America's environmental laws and threaten the survival of dozens of native wildlife and fish species. Our appeals show it, and the nation's best scientists show it." He said further, "Robertson's decision shows that the Forest Service continues to be an agency out of control, focused on selling off the public's forest heritage to the timber industry as fast as possible."
 Robertson claimed that virtually all points of the appeals were related to the northern spotted owl, and that he could not rule on owl-related issues because the Forest Service is preparing a court- ordered management plan for the spotted owl. In reality, only small portions of the appeals contained any references to spotted owls. Instead, most portions of the appeals demonstrated that the plans greatly underestimated the harm they will cause to watersheds, roadless areas, and habitats for rare and endangered wildlife and plants. Because none of these issues has a particular connection to the spotted owl, the appellants believe they have been denied their rights to redress through the Forest Service's administrative appeals process. Appellants are seeking relief in Federal District Court in Seattle.
 The Scientific Panel on Late-Successional Forest Ecosystems, in its report to the U.S. Congress in October 1991, demonstrated that these same forest plans, even with new measures to protect spotted owls proposed by the Forest Service and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, will probably result in extinction for many wildlife species dependent on mature and old-growth forests. Native fish runs were also shown to be at risk from logging practices. The report showed that a larger area of forest lands must be protected from logging if these species are to survive.
 Norm Winn, president of the Washington Wilderness Coalition, said, "The scientists have demonstrated that large areas of land must be protected from logging. Additional delays in protecting such areas place Washington's forest heritage at risk."
 Robertson issued his decisions one-and-a-half years after the first appeal was filed. During that period he made no provisions whatsoever to preserve the resources which the appellants' cases address, allowing logging to continue in critical wildlife habitats, along streams, and at unsustainable levels. This continued habitat destruction has placed many species closer to extinction. The appellants will argue in court that, if further delay in resolution of the cases is truly unavoidable, then the Forest Service must halt harmful activities pending resolution of the cases.
 Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Sierra Club, Washington Wilderness Coalition, the Mountaineers, the Wilderness Society, Washington Native Plant Society, Friends of the Earth, North Cascades Conservation Council, Washington Trails Association, and Alpine Lakes Protection Society.
 In another court case filed in February, conservation groups headed by the Inland Empire Public Lands Council challenged Chief Robertson's rejection of their appeal of the plan for the Colville National Forest. The Colville Forest is located in northeastern Washington State. Those appellants believe the laws require better protection for the national forest's wildlife, watershed, and amenity values and feel the merits of their appeal were unduly denied by Robertson. They have brought their case to Federal District Court in Spokane.
 -0- 3/5/92
 /CONTACT: Mark Lawler of Sierra Club, 206-632-1550/ CO: Sierra Club ST: Washington IN: SU:


RM -- SF009 -- 5608 03/05/92 16:19 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 5, 1992
Words:640
Previous Article:STATEMENT BY WALTER COSTELLO, PRESIDENT OF THE MASS. ACADEMY OF TRIAL ATTORNEYS REGARDING, GOV. WELD'S AUTO INSURANCE LEGISLATION
Next Article:BIOLECTRONICS CORPORATION TO ACQUIRE MEDICAL PROFILES, INC.
Topics:


Related Articles
U.S. FOREST SERVICE'S MOVE TO ABOLISH ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS PROCESS IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, SAYS LABOR UNION PRESIDENT
EBMUD CHARGES USFS-APPROVED TIMBER SALE HARMS WATERSHED
150,000 Americans Use the Power of the Web to Help Save America's Last Unprotected Forests.
Environmentalists Win in Shawnee National Forest Case.
Forest Service Delivers Mere Shadow of Clinton Commitment to Protect Wild Forests.
New hope for Australia's old-growth forests.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters