NRDC & The Wilderness Society: Tell Congress to Support Our National Treasures

June 12th, 2007 10:15 pm by Kelly Garbato

UPDATE, 7/3/07, via the Wilderness Society:

Thank Your Congressperson for Protecting the Tongass National Forest

Thank you is a word we probably don’t say enough, but now is the time to do just that.

Please write your Congressional Representative today to thank him or her for voting yes on an amendment the House approved for the Interior budget. The Andrews-Chabot Amendment stops wasting taxpayer dollars building new logging roads in the Tongass National Forest, America’s largest intact rainforest.

U.S. Representatives Robert E. Andrews (D-New Jersey, 1st) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio, 1st) lead the bipartisan floor effort and deserve an additional thanks.

To let your representative know how much protecting the ecological integrity of the Tongass and the quality of life for southeast Alaska communities means to you, write your member of Congress [here].

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UPDATE, 6/12/07:

Looks like the Sierra Club wants in on the action too:

Take Action: Save Wild Alaskan Forests!

Known as America’s Rainforest, the Tongass National Forest is our nation’s most significant tract of old-growth forest and provide abundant habitat for a diversity of fish and wildlife species, many of which have declined substantially in the lower 48 states. Now the Forest Service is planning new logging roads and timber sales in this wild roadless forest, despite the fact that the Forest Service typically loses an average of $40 million each year logging this area. It’s time for Congress to take common sense action to eliminate these destructive practices.

Urge your member of Congress to stop subsidies for logging in the Tongass!

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Two more enviro alerts, this time in regards to upcoming Congressional votes that concern funding for federal lands and agencies.

First, from the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Tell your representative to protect the Tongass and other national treasures

The House of Representatives will vote this week on two critical appropriations bills that will determine how much to spend on
our most important environmental programs, including those that protect the Tongass National Forest and other public wildlands.

One important amendment would stop the Forest Service from spending our tax dollars to build logging roads through pristine
forestlands in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. For decades American taxpayers have been forced to subsidize nearly a billion dollars worth of clearcut logging in the Tongass — our country’s largest national forest and the world’s largest intact coastal temperate rainforest. Now the Forest Service has proposed increasing logging to five times current levels — and building thousands of miles of new roads at a cost of tens of millions of dollars every year. The Andrews-Chabot amendment to the Interior appropriations bill would end these harmful subsidies and protect the Tongass.

Following the vote on the Tongass amendment, the House will vote on final passage of the Interior appropriations bill, which
provides funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior. Although these agencies have been severely underfunded for the past several years, this year’s bill would significantly increase funding for their vitally important environmental protection programs.

The House also will vote on an amendment to the Energy and Water appropriations bill that would delay, for one year, funding for
two huge multi-state energy transmission corridors. Together the proposed corridors — one in the east and one in the southwest — cover 11 states and more than 200 counties inhabited by nearly 75 million Americans. Once these areas are designated, utility companies will be able to site high-voltage transmission lines across national parks, wildlands, wild and scenic rivers and other fragile public lands within them, and could also use eminent domain authority to site transmission lines on private lands — even if state and local governments object. The one-year delay would give Congress, state and local governments and the public adequate time to ensure that the final corridor plans respect our treasured natural resources and state and federal laws protecting private property.

Next up, The Wilderness Society:

House vote Thursday on funding for land agencies. Your phone calls critically important.

This is a frantic week of legislative activity on Capitol Hill, and one of the bills to be voted on is the Interior Appropriations bill. The vote could come in the House as early as this Thursday.

The bill contains much that you and other WildAlert subscribers have lobbied hard for in recent months, with nearly $2 billion
more for federal agencies than the President requested. That in itself is a major accomplishment, but now we need to make sure
it passes in the House! […]

To see the bill in its entirety, go to http://action.wilderness.org/ct/gp2cbnn17Q7T/full_bill

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