The Clinton-Gore Ecosystem Forest Plan for the westside of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington is a complete failure. It helped destroy the economy of dozens of resource-dependent communities. Now the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP) will do the same to hundreds of communities east of the Cascade Mountains in the Columbia and Snake River basins.
Inspired by behind-the-scenes efforts by Vice-President Gore and Interior Secretary Babbitt, the plan will place severe restrictions on grazing, mining, logging and private property covering 144 million acres, 72 million acres of Federal land alone, in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. This area is so massive, it could be the thrid largest state behind Alaska and Texas - being slightly larger than California. It is only slightly smaller than the origianal 13 colonies. The new ecosystem plan will give management direction to 36 national forests and 14 BLM Districts.
A well kept secret is the BLM and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) internal working document that describes how a national ecosystem process will be put in place by presidential executive order. This plan will then be implemented by twenty federal agencies. This secret ecosystem plan directs that:
The Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project released two EIS documents that promise massive change for the Northwest . . . . and threatens to spread ecosystem planning nationwide. The first is the Upper Columbia River Basin EIS covering 42 million acres. The second is the Eastside EIS (covering Oregon and Washington east of the Cascades) that includes 30 million acres.
Grassroots leaders say the plans are likely to drive resource-based industry out of business and severely damage hundreds of small communities in rural areas. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and other Western Republicans vowed to try to block appropriations for the new ecosystem plan. Clinton-Gore officials said it would take $125-$180 million a year for a minimum of 10 years to put the plan in place. If ICBEMP is allowed to go ahead the result will be:
- The elimination of multiple-use as a management concept;
- Federal top down land use controls over much of the Northwest;
- Timber harvests will be reduced by 50% or more;
- Mining will be greatly reduced;
- Cuts in grazing by 50% or more;
- 50% of the roads through National Forest and BLM lands will be closed;
- Huge amounts of private property will be down valued and regulated;
- Many recreation lands will be made off-limits or have very limited access;
- Local rural economies will be severely damaged;
- Traditional political boundaries will be broken down; and
- Local, elected officials will have their power usurped by unelected, federal bureaucrats..
Ecosystem Planning needs to be stopped now, before it gets up a head of steam. No matter where you live in the country, ecosystem planning, as designed by Gore and Babbitt, threatens you. Here is what you can do to keep from having your local rural economy damaged or destroyed by this misguided agenda:
This massive, top down, command and control Federal land grab can be stopped. All those who use the Federal lands must join together to prevent the ICBEMP from going forward. Dont wait. Act today! Some of the groups participating in the new coalition are:
Alliance for America
American Land Rights Association
Blincoe Farms Inc.
Blue Ribbon Coalition
Communities for a Great Northwest
CURE-Citizens United for a Realistic Environment
Curry County Oregon Project
Defenders of Private Rights
First Creek Ranch Inc.
Hammond Ranches Inc.
Idaho Council Industry & Environment
Idaho Multiple Land Use Coalition
Independent Forest Products Association
League of Private Property Voters
LSW Union Local #2949
Magic Valley Trail Machine Association
Malheur Timber Operators Inc.
Montana Mining Association
Montana Resource Providers Coalition
Montanans for Multiple Use
Northwest Council of Governments & Associations
Northwest Forestry Association
Off the Beaten Path
Okanogan Mining Association
Okanogan Resource Council
Oregon Lands Coalition
Oregonians In Action
Panhandle Trail Riders Association
PINE-Protecting Industries Now Endangered
Riverside County Farm Bureau
Washington Cattlemens Association
Washington Commercial Forest Action Committee
Washington Prospectors Mining Association
Western Counties Resources Policy Institute
Western Resource Association
Click here to view talking points developed on the DEIS.