Action Alert— Please call your Congressional Representatives and tell them to oppose 2018 Farm Bill provisions that would ramp up logging on public lands.
In another effort to expand lawless and unregulated logging on public lands, congress is at it again—this time with provisions in the Farm Bill that would undermine environmental protections and shut the public out of the review process.
The forestry provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill would harm forests, streams, and wildlife. Many of the provisions are being justified under the guise of “fuels reduction”– which is (at best) a misguided strategy that removes important wildlife habitat but does not protect communities. Logging is not restoration!
This bill takes us in exactly the WRONG direction. We need more environmental protections, not less! Many forest and stream ecosystems are experiencing negative effects from climate change. In order to give species and ecosystems the best chance for adaptation and survival, large and unfragmented blocks of habitat and connectivity corridors need to be protected– not logged! In addition, more logging will exacerbate climate change by releasing large amounts of CO2. We should instead be preserving forests as a way to capture CO2 emissions.
Tell your Congressional Representatives to SAY NO to provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill which would:
If passed, the 2018 Farm Bill Forestry Provisions would:
* Allow agencies to log up to 6,000 acres at a time with essentially no public input or environmental analysis
* Allow logging in Inventoried Roadless Areas through the use of the Categorical Exclusions (CEs) proposed in the bill. These CEs eliminate current requirements to assess environmental impacts (including cumulative impacts) or respond to dissenting scientific opinion and ensure the scientific accuracy and integrity of a decision.
* Jeopardize ESA-listed species by gutting requirements for analysis and joint-agency review that were designed to protect threatened and endangered species. The provisions would cripple ESA protections on public lands, and allow for the destruction or degradation of much of the last remaining suitable wildlife habitat for many listed species.
* Allow agencies to build new roads on public forests without environmental review as part of a “Categorical Exclusion”
* Exempt the use of pesticides from the Endangered Species Act– which would allow for widespread killing of ESA-listed species with pesticides, as well as the destruction of necessary habitat the species depend upon.
* Divert funding towards logging projects that was previously allocated for restoration work such as road and culvert repairs
You can see the draft 2018 Farm Bill; the forestry-related provisions begin on page 464. These provisions threaten to devastate forest and stream ecosystems, and increase logging-related carbon emissions. We cannot afford more large-scale and rampant environmental degradation in the face of climate change and alarming losses of species and biodiversity.
Act now! Please call your elected representatives in congress to stand up for forests, streams, and wildlife. Tell them that logging is not restoration, and that you oppose efforts to increase logging and shut the public out of the review process. We need more environmental protections, not less!
Together, we’ve stopped similar and horrible provisions before. Please stand up for forests again– call your Congressional Representatives!
The John Muir Project of the Earth Island Institute has put together a detailed summary of the worst of the 2018 Farm Bill provisions. You can read their very helpful handout HERE.
Beyond Toxics has put together a detailed summary of the Farm Bill provisions regarding pesticides; you can read that here.