Monday, May 3, 1999. greeninfo@defenders.org
GREEN/Defenders of Wildlife 1999


GROUPS SEEK CHIP MILL MORATORIUM: The Dogwood Alliance 4/27 praised a recent decision by federal agencies to comprehensively review the health of southeastern forests. But the groups also called for a moratorium on new chip mills until the study is completed. "If chip mill construction continues at the current pace, any practical results of this two-year study could be moot." Also last Friday 40 organizations representing hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation communities wrote Vice President Gore asking for a regional study on the effects of chip mills. In 10 years the number of chip mills in the region tripled to 150, consuming more than a million acres of forest in 1998.

A WAR TO SAVE THE WEST: An op-ed by J. Robb Brady in the 4/27 Idaho Falls Post-Register called on Congress to reform the 1872 Mining Law to "save the land and rescue the taxpayer." He cited the example of Idaho's Silver Valley, which after a century of hard rock mining is now a $600 million Superfund site. He said Congress should take a tougher stance on mining to prevent more such mines. The 1872 Law, he says, allows mining companies to despoil public lands in the western US while "the public ends up subsidizing the practice to the tune of millions of dollars."

OLYMPICS TAKE A TOLL: The 4/26 Salt Lake Tribune reported Salt Lake City Olympic officials are discovering preparations taken for the 2002 Winter Olympics are exacting an environmental toll. Local citizens became upset when a mountainside near Park City was carved open to construct a ski jump in violation of county land-use codes. Park City Councilman Chuck Klingenstein said, "There are three legs to the Olympics: sports, culture, and the environment. We've got some work to do on one of those."

NEW FISHING REGS INCOMPLETE: The Washington Post 4/27 reported the National Marine Fisheries Service imposed new restrictions on fishing for marlin, sharks, and other migratory fish to reduce overfishing and restore populations. Some shark and tuna species have declined by 80-85% since 1970. But many environmentalists are unhappy with the regulations saying more needs to be done. David Wilmot of the Ocean Wildlife Campaign said the administration "caved in to industry pressure, clear and simple."

GROUP CHALLENGES TIMBER SALE: The Lands Council 4/27 reported it is demanding a new environmental review of a proposed timber sale in Oregon's Malheur National Forest. The timber sale was originally approved in 1996 before the steelhead trout was listed as a threatened species and a nearby fire burned 30,000 acres. The Council says a new environmental analysis should be done focusing on the effects of logging to nearby trout habitat. The sale is on hold until a final review by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. For more info contact <mpeters@televar.com>.


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