5
Apr
2005

OLYMPIC FOREST COALITION ACTION ALERT

Olympic National Forest Begins Ramping Up Timber Sale Volume, Proposes to Log Mount Walker and Surrounding Area

The Forest Service proposed on March 22, 2005 to initiate a huge timber sale on Mount Walker, Mount Turner, and Rocky Brook Valley in the Northeast section of the Olympic National Forest. Known as the Jackson Thin, this sale would encompass up to 3,200 acres. The sale would additionally entail up to 9 miles of new logging road construction – much of it on Mount Walker, a popular destination for hikers, sightseers, and their families. How we wish this was merely an April Fools’ joke, but it’s serious as a bad case of stomach flu.

The Forest Service claims the project would thin the forest in such a way that would “accelerate” the development of old-growth characteristics. But this is like cutting a long-distance runner’s arms off in a foolhardy attempt to reduce her wind resistance. Much of the forest targeted for thinning, including that found on Mounts Walker and Turner, has been growing without interference since a late-19th century fire. It now sports big trees and irreplaceable wildlife habitat, and is within only a few decades of becoming genuine old growth all on its own – without any help from Forest Service bureaucrats. If chainsaws and bulldozers are allowed in these native forests, their maturation and beauty will be set back dramatically.

This is the beginning of the Olympic National Forest’s desire, discussed publicly several times over the past year, to increase the timber volume level three times over what has been allowed in the Northwest Forest Plan. The long, dark shadow of George W. Bush is being cast on Olympic National Forest.

We can’t allow this to happen. The Jackson Thin is still in its early stages of planning, so it’s critical that interested folks weigh in and contribute their opinions now. The Forest Service must hear from a broad spectrum of people that their plans are completely unacceptable.

We all know that Olympic National Forest is one of the crown jewels of the Great Northwest, so it’s high time the Forest Service started managing it that way.

Talking points when communicating with the Forest Service:

· Olympic National Forest already has over 2,000 miles of decaying logging roads. No more logging roads should be built, even if the Forest Service’s public relations machine falsely calls them “temporary” roads. Enough is enough!

· The Forest Service should stay out of century-old forest stands, like those found on Mount Walker and Mount Turner. These forests are maturing and diversifying naturally, and will only be wrecked by cutting out thousands of their trees and slicing them up with new logging roads.

Thank you! Direct your comments, no later than April 21, to:

Yewah Lau
Olympic National Forest
1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Suite A
Olympia, WA 98512
(360) 956-2402
comments-pacificnorthwest-olympic-hoodcanal@fs.fed.us

To see a copy of the Forest Service’s scoping letter on Jackson Thin,
click below.

//www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic/projects-nu/jackson-thinning/jackson-scoping-letter2.pdf


Informant: Deane
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