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A message from former U.S. Forest Supervisor Gloria Flora – Environmental Hero
Dear friend of wildlife:
America's precious national forests are under renewed attack by special interests, and we must act now to save them and the magnificent wildlife they harbor.
In my 22-year career with the U.S. Forest Service, I witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by timber, mining, oil and gas industries – damaged forests, silted streams, poisoned groundwater, and imperiled wildlife.
I tried to do something about it. When I was in charge of Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana, I banned oil and gas leasing along the spectacular Rocky Mountain Front to protect its wildlife. Later, I resigned as supervisor for the largest national forest in the lower 48 states – Nevada's Humboldt-Toiyabe – to call attention to those who would ravage that American treasure.
Now, the Bush administration wants to dismantle the National Forest Management Act that's protecting 191 million acres of national forests and grasslands. As a Forest Service supervisor, I worked with that excellent law to ensure that the health of the land and its wildlife weren't sacrificed to quick-cash exploitation.
The administration's proposal – heavily influenced by industry – would open forests to more intensified development than they've suffered in years.
Worst of all, their proposal would all but eliminate the fundamental, common-sense requirement that the Forest Service preserve our native wildlife species by managing the forests in a manner that allows them to survive over time.
This proposal seriously weakens the requirements for long-range planning and makes environmental analysis optional. That makes sustaining our precious forests and wildlife optional. And to top it off, the proposal also seriously weakens the public's ability to influence or challenge bad forest management decisions.
Thankfully, it's not too late to stop this outrageous proposal. Send a message to Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth urging him to live up to his responsibility to protect our national forests. After all, they belong to all of us, and to future generations, not just the administration's corporate supporters.
After I resigned from the Forest Service to draw attention to the need for better management of our national forests and the harassment of employees who were trying to do just that, a reporter asked me whether I regretted risking my career by being outspoken in their defense. The answer was easy. "The worst thing," I replied, "would be looking back on your life and thinking, 'That was important – I should have taken a stand'."
It's time for all of us to take a stand. The special interests are strong, but we can save our national forests and wildlife if we speak as one and do so right now.
Just click here: http://www.savenationalforests.org to send a message to Forest Service Chief Bosworth. Then forward this message to those you know who should also help at this critical time. To be effective, we need the support of everyone who cares about our forests and wildlife. Thank you.
(Defenders of Wildlife is a leading national conservation organization recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and habitat and known for its effective leadership on saving endangered species such as brown bears and gray wolves. Defenders advocates new approaches to wildlife conservation that protect species before they become endangered. Founded in 1947, Defenders is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with more than 430,000 members and supporters.)
Defenders of Wildlife
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Copyright Defenders of Wildlife 2003