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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 23, 2002
8:34 AM
CONTACT:  Sierra Club
Annie Strickler, (202) 675-2384
Want Healthy Forests? Think Restoration
New Report Shows Environmental and Economic Benefits of Restoring America's Forests
 
WASHINGTON - July 23 - America's National Forests suffer from serious disrepair after decades of destructive logging, but a new report says solutions exist to bring silt-clogged trout streams back to life, stabilize landslide-prone hillsides, and create good jobs in forest communities. The report, released today by the Sierra Club, highlights the benefits, as well as the challenges, of restoring our nation's treasured forests. With the recent forest fires focusing Americans' attention on the need for sensible forest management, the report posits restoration as a key element in the long-term goal of protecting forests and communities.

"With forest restoration we can embark on the path to the future. Restoring our National Forests will leave a legacy of clean air and water, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, and protection from flooding and catastrophic fires -- a wild heritage that is worth more than can be measured in two-by-fours," the report reads.

"This report will help Americans understand the importance of restoring our nation's forests, to protect communities and wildlife and to restore what's left of our wild forest heritage," said Sean Cosgrove, Sierra Club forest policy specialist. "Instead of wasting taxpayer money on commercial logging of these forests, we should be restoring what remains of America's playgrounds."

The report, "Restoring America's Forests: Protecting Habitat, Saving Stream and Generating Jobs in our National Forests," is an in-depth look at the methods, costs, benefits, and politics of forest restoration projects. The report includes case studies from Redwood National Forest in California, the White River in Vermont, the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon and others.

"Americans love these special places for the wonderful services they provide -- clean drinking water, recreational and economic opportunities, and fish and wildlife habitat," said Cosgrove. "It is imperative that we restore the health and wealth of goods and services our forests provide, for our families, for our future."

The report is designed to help policy makers, community leaders, land managers, and the public identify the opportunities, challenges and benefits of restoring our nation's forests. While many restoration projects actively engage the local communities in the health of their forests, some forest management officials undermine this trust by promoting intensive logging under the guise of restoration.

"This summer's fire season has confirmed the need to rethink our forest management strategies and proactively restore our National Forests," continued Cosgrove. "If done correctly, forest restoration can be at the heart of a new way of thinking for government agencies in charge of managing our nation's federal forests, like the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management."

To download the report, please go to http://www.sierraclub.org/logging/report02

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