"I promise you I can do anything you want to do by saying it is ecosystem management. Its incredibly nebulous."
-- Jack Ward Thomas, Former Chief, US Forest Service.
The Washington State Farm Bureau, American Farm Bureau, Northwest Forest Resource Council, Public Lands Council, National Cattlemens Beef Association, and all the Farm Bureaus affected by the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Project (ICBEMP) have released an outstanding report and analysis of the two giant EIS documents released by the Federal Government.
The report, written by Allan K. Fitzsimmons, Ph.D, gives the reader the tools necessary to analyze these government EIS documents and easily file written comments. Very helpful are the Talking Points prepared by the Washington State Farm Bureau. Everyone concerned about the ICBEMP, what we call the NW Ecosystem Plan, should read this analysis.
Imagine federal regulations so far-reaching that the most ardent green would likely trade the Endangered Species Act for it. Ecosystem management may be just that and it is dangerously close to happening.
The BLM and Forest Service have spent over $35 million in the last four years drafting two huge Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEIS) for the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP). The plan covers 144 million acres including all of eastern Oregon and Washington, all of Idaho, Western Montana and Wyoming and northern parts of Nevada and Utah. Millions of acres of private land are also affected.
Wherever you live, these two DEIS documents and the NW Ecosystem Plan affect you. It is the model for what Vice President Albert Gore and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt want for the whole country. The US will be divided up into ecosystem management areas.
The DEIS proposes that the federal government make a profound change in the way it manages public lands, drops the concept of multiple use and adopts something called Ecosystem Management. Unfortunately, the DEISs fail to present an adequate definition for Ecosystem Management. Worse, the regulatory goal is ecosystem integrity and the DEISs fail to define what that is. This is no mistake.
FREE POST CARD ORDER FORMS AVAILABLE American Land Rights will supply any organization willing to mail them to their members as many ICBEMP EIS post card order forms as you need. It is imperative that people who live in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming get a copy of both EIS documents. The comment period ends has been extended to February 6, 1998. Call American Land Rights at (360) 687-3087.
HAVE YOU RECEIVED YOUR COPIES OF BOTH EIS DOCUMENTS? People are telling us the ICBEMP officials are not sending them. If you have not received yours, call your Senators at (202) 224-3121 to ask them to call the ICBEMP officials on your behalf. Call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121.
Click here to view talking points developed on the DEIS's.
Email ALRA and we'll mail you a copy of the Fitzsimmons analysis.