From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Fire Danger!!  Write Your Newspaper Today!!

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA. 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 – E-mail: alra@landrights.org
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE- Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-210-2357 – Fax: 202-543-7126 – E-mail: landrightsnet@aol.com

Fire Danger!!  Write Your Newspaper Today!!

The Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Plan has finally been released.  It is technically called the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment.  

The green groups will be bombarding your local newspapers with letters to the editor.  They will use the Sierra Nevada Plan as the hook to get their dogma published.

You must send a letter to the editor as soon as possible (today if you can) with your opinion.   The shorter your letter is, the better chance you have of getting it printed.  Make it no more than one page, no more than three short paragraphs.  

Remember, your Congressman and Senators read your local paper.  It is very powerful to have a letter published in your local paper.

Here are some ides to consider.  If you use them, please put them in your own words.

The greens have said the Administration's land use policy seems to be leave no forest behind. 

You might include in your letter that the greens should take responsibility for any loss of forests.   For example, a property rights advocate recently said:  "The environmental groups already left no forest behind, they set all the forests up to burn, they locked them up and locked the people out and wouldn't let the professional managers take care of them. The legacy of the greens is burning our national forests." 

Regarding snowmobiles and off-highway vehicles, the greens have said that our mountains and deserts should be preserved for present and future generations, not used as a thrill ride for this generation and destroyed for the next.  However, recreation advocates believe the greens never saw a snowmobile or an off-highway vehicle they didn't' hate.  They never saw a road they didn’t want to close.  They don’t believe in sharing the resources.  They appear greedy.  They want it all for themselves.  The future generation language is just a way to hide their greed.

The greens said recently they believe too many oil and gas resources are being developed in the US.  Apparently, they want the US to depend on foreign oil.  Their view makes no sense at this particular time, or for that matter, at any time.   One property rights advocate said recently, “I guess when it comes to meeting with the oil and gas-rich nations of the Middle East, the greens appear to be in favor of our dependence there and having less resources here.”

The giant green organizations want the government to own more than the 40% of the land in America it already owns.  They are anti-private property and support the massive expansion of federally owned land.  The greens need to get all the credit they deserve for eliminating landowners, cutting off access to our forests, closing roads, reducing the tax base, and economically damaging local communities.

No community in the Sierras is safe from the cultural war being waged on them by the environmental groups.  They see people as the enemy of nature.  Since they view themselves as the only ally of nature, then people have to be the enemy.  That means you.

One property rights advocate asked recently:  "Does anyone keep track of how many times the greens say the sky is falling?"  Or “How come the last great place has to be my farm or your house?”

If we support the enviro groups, “we will burn our forests, lock up our public lands, force people to live in cities in high densities and zone low to medium-income families from ever owning a home or a part of the American dream.”

You can draw upon these ideas, expand them, or change them.  You can ignore them.   But please write a letter quickly.


Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.  If you live in an area with several papers, send a letter to each one.  Big dailies as well as weeklies.  The address will be in your local paper.  If you need the address or fax number for your local papers and cannot find them, call American Land Rights.  We have a listing of most of the press in California.

More Background for Letters to the Editor 
Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment

For the last year, the U.S. Forest Service has been conducting a review of their flawed last-minute decision from the Clinton Administration affecting 11 national forests in the Sierra Nevada and Modoc Plateau.  The January 12, 2001 decision amended national forest plans covering 11,000,000 acres.  Unfortunately, the decision selected was the worst one possible for these valuable national forests.  The decision was so flawed that 234 appeals were filed and almost a year passed before all of the appeals were denied.  

However, Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth recognized there were significant problems.  He and Regional Forester Jack Blackwell agreed to conduct a thorough review of the six key areas covered by the decision: fire strategy; implications of the National Fire Plan; consistency with the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Act; grazing impacts; recreation considerations; and impacts on communities.

The Forest Service Review Team has finally completed their work, and on March 6 released their report called the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment: Management Review and Recommendations.  

The entire report can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/snfpa/review/review-report/index.html. Their 169-page critical report establishes significant problems with the flawed decision and validated almost all of the points raised during the formal appeals.  Some of the most damning evidence was provided by the district rangers in their candid evaluations and expressions of frustration in trying to implement this flawed decision.  Following are some of the highlights of the 41 Key Findings from the Review Team. 

Key Findings:

Fire Strategy and Effectiveness of Fuels Treatment 
·	Fuels reduction treatments at the landscape scale must:
1.	Effectively modify fire behavior
2.	Be strategically placed
3.	Be cost efficient
·	Each of these conditions is compromised by the standards and guidelines in the Record of Decision (ROD).

Conformance with the National Fire Plan

·	Initial landscape level analysis indicates the current direction does not reduce the number of high severity acres burned over time. (Goal 2 – Reduce Hazardous Fuels)
·	A reliance on prescribed fire as the preferred fuels treatment method in the ROD is unrealistic because of air quality regulations and the limited availability of burn days.

Computability with the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act

·	The ROD significantly limits the implementation of the HFQLG Pilot Project.
·	The ROD removed the objective of providing socio-economic benefit through timber and biomass production from the HFQLG forests (and others).  This was a key component to be tested by the Pilot Project.

Impacts to grazing

·	There is a great deal of uncertainty about the relative risk to the Yosemite toad, willow flycatcher and great gray owl from grazing managed under the ROD standards and guidelines for meadows and riparian systems.
·	Opportunities exist to provide flexibility to the field, which will maintain protection for sensitive species while reducing impacts to permittees and providing incentives for habitat restoration.

Recreation impacts

·	The ROD was not written with recreation uses in mind.  This makes it extremely frustrating for field personnel to tease out the direction relevant to a specific project.
·	The aquatic management strategy contains provisions found in other management direction (Best Management Practices for example).  It is unnecessary to include this in the ROD as if it were another layer of requirements to be met.

Community impacts

·	The extensive program of ecological restoration envisioned under Mod 8 and the National Fire Plan cannot be accomplished with only appropriated funds, it also requires local and regional public /private cooperative economic opportunities.
·	The SNFPA eliminates the objective of providing commercial forest products from national forests.  We could find no documentation of the rationale for this decision.

It seems abundantly clear from these key findings that the current decision is not the best possible solution to manage and protect our national forests from the effects of catastrophic wildfire.  It is not the Bush Administration or the timber industry that developed these and many more key findings indicating a flawed decision has been put into place.  

The issue is now clear: how can the decisions in the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan be improved based on these key findings.  We must insist that Regional Forester Blackwell select a path that reduces the threats of catastrophic wildfires as his highest priority.  He must also select an alternative that protects the largest amount of wildlife habitat from wildfire threats, provides for sound and reasonable protection of our remaining old forest conditions, and provides the best chance to sustain healthy communities, and insure that our watersheds provide fresh, clear water needed.  It is obvious by the Forest Service analysis of the current direction that changes are needed.  


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