Sierra Club's "plans" for Arkansas. Is your state next?

For your information, folks -- here's what the Sierra Club has planned for
Arkansas. Is your state next? Who and what is REALLY endangered these days?
Please remember to visit every time you hear about
'global warming.' For other great and real factual information:


End Commercial Logging (ECL) Campaign News

December 2002

By Holly Ferguson

Hello Arkansas Sierrans

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the new conservation organizer for the End
Commercial Logging Campaign in Arkansas. I became involved with the Sierra
Student Coalition and the Ozark Headwaters group as a student several years
ago. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, I moved away for a few
years and volunteered with other environmental and social justice groups and
also extensively studied medicinal plants. Now, I am back and excited to be
working in the Ozark and Ouachita mountains on an issue as important as
forest protection.

As many of you know, our national forests are threatened by logging. Most
Americans think that national forest land is protected from logging and road
building; unfortunately, that is not true. Indeed, commercial logging is
allowed, and as a result, many of our forests are being managed as tree farms
rather than harmonious ecosystems. Healthy intact forests protect water
quality, provide habitat for many endangered or threatened plant and animal
species, and provide numerous recreational benefits. Arkansas is known as
"The Natural State" yet if the logging industry continues to cut timber at
such an astonishing rate in our public lands, we may have to change our
motto. For example, the Ouachita National Forest has been declared one of the
ten Most Endangered National Forests in the nation, with 114 million board
feet of timber cut in 2000 alone, more than any single National Forest except
Alaska's Tongass National Forest. Further, many rare herbaceous plants such
as Harperalla, a federally recognized endangered species of the Parsley
family have been discovered, yet only 4% of the Ouachita NF is designated as
wilderness area in which no road building, logging or extractive activities
can take place. At the least, we need more designations within the Ozarks and
Ouachitas as special interest areas that are not subject to destructive
practices such as logging and road building.

Sadly, we have less than 5% of our original forest cover left in the U.S. The
national forests should not be managed for timber, a commodity, at the risk
of compromising biological diversity. Actually, logging on public lands is
really unnecessary anyway. Nationally, only 4% of America's timber supply
comes from national forests. Thus, with a little recycling, reducing, and
reusing, folks could easily curb their use of timber products. Here's an
idea: tree-free paper. The Sierra Club just printed a brochure called
"Alternatives to Logging Our Forests" that is 100% tree-free. In this
brochure, kenaf and hemp both are promoted as fibers that are as good or
better than tree fiber for making paper. Kenaf, a native African plant that
grows well in the southern U.S., can reach a height of 12-18 feet in just a
few months. Yet, paper is not the only culprit. Actually, a large amount of
hardwood timber is used for shipping pallets - half of which end up in
landfills. So, maybe the pallets could be used again, aye?

The real catch here is that we, the American people, pay for destructive
logging via taxes. Economically speaking, logging in our national forests is
really counterproductive. According to ECONorthwest, timber produces roughly
$4 billion per year while recreation, fish and wildlife, clean water, and
road less areas provide a combined total of $224 billion to the American
economy each year. The point is this; we don't need to log the precious
little bit of intact forest we have left. We, the public, own this land and
should be able to determine how it is managed. It is imperative that we
organize at a grassroots level and put pressure on the Forest Service and
legislators and let them know that we want to preserve the little bit of
forest we have left.

To learn more online about the Sierra Club campaign to End Commercial Logging
on Public Lands, you can visit our website @ If you have questions or are
interested in joining the ECL campaign please contact:

Holly Ferguson
Arkansas ECL EPEC Program
115 W. Spring St.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Fax: 479-571-3316

Our website is up and running!


By Charles Laflar, Tom McKinney and Peggy Whithelm

"Logging in Arkansas' National forests causes real harm to wildlife, damages
streams and scars the natural beauty of our state. Worst of all, our forests
are logged at a substantial financial loss to taxpayers: the Forest Service
pays logging companies to have our forests cut. Ending commercial logging in
National Forests will both save the government money and make our forests and
streams scenic and safe."

The Arkansas Chapter of the Sierra Club supports a number of measures
intended to protect the Ouachita and Ozark Forests. They include supporting
the national "End Commercial Logging" campaign and working to redirect timber
subsidies into worker retraining and ecological restoration.

(The Chapter also supports setting aside for immediate protection from
logging and road building large and contiguous portions of both national
forests. The Chapter also supports the complete protection for the entire
watersheds of Wild and Scenic Streams and the inclusion in the Wild and
Scenic River System any and all streams in the Ouachita and Ozark National
Forests which meet the criteria for inclusion in the system.)

Making forestry issues one of our primary concerns in Arkansas will spark a
campaign to monitor U.S. Forest Service management practices, attend public
hearings on forestry issues, sponsor outings near areas which are threatened
by increased logging to determine impact of such practices, and maintain
contact with our congressional representatives regarding legislation that
negatively affects the Ozark and Ouachita Forests. In addition, we want to
help safeguard communities near our protected forests from forest fires - a
direct result of U.S. Forest Service mismanagement.


By Peggy Whithelm with excerpts from National Sierra Club Clean Air Campaign

Air pollution is threatening the health and safety of our communities. Clean
Air is directly related to public health as more than 130 million children
and adults continue to breathe dirty, unhealthy air each year. The 1990 Clean
Air Act allows states to regulate the amount of emissions from industrial
sites. How well is Arkansas monitoring its air? The Sierra Club Arkansas
Chapter is concerned since Arkansas' ozone levels were much too high on some
hot summer days over West Memphis and central Arkansas in recent years.

Global warming is directly affected by our transportation policies and
emissions standards. The Bush Administration has proposed a plan for dealing
with global warming that looks more like a placebo than a cure. The plan
leaves out any remedy for carbon dioxide emissions, the leading cause of
global warming. Instead of taking simple steps to curb carbon dioxide
pollution, the Bush Administration is backing an energy plan that promotes
dirty fossil fuels like oil and coal, which produce carbon dioxide when
burned. The Arkansas Chapter of the Sierra Club supports strengthening and
enforcing the laws that protect our health and safety and holding
corporations responsible for cleaning the pollution and health risks they
create. By making clean air a priority in Arkansas, our volunteers will
educate and encourage citizens to register complaints when high emissions are
evident in their communities, attend public meetings to try and influence
standards and enforcement, and by sending a representative to Metroplan
meetings to contribute to decisions being made about central Arkansas'
transportation planning.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

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