Stand up for the trees |

Stand up for the trees

In the coming weeks, President Bush could decide the fate of our country’s last wild forests when he decides whether or not to let logging companies loose on 58.5 million acres of currently protected pristine forests.

In Colorado alone, 4,433,000 acres of forest are at risk. These forests are currently protected under the Roadless Rule that prohibits taxpayer-subsidized road-building (except in emergencies) on much of the remaining 4 percent of old-growth forests left in this country.

The Bush administration has already eliminated Alaska’s Tongass Rainforest, America’s largest national forest, from the protection of the Roadless Rule. The administration now plans on going after protected roadless areas in the lower 48 states as well. If the Bush administration is allowed to go ahead with its plans, logging companies will destroy critical habitat for endangered species and the forests that provide clean air and water to millions.

The logging companies would also make these forests, and communities near them, much more vulnerable to catastrophic fire by logging the oldest, most fire-resistant trees and leaving behind highly flammable brush and slash. These changes would also give state governors the power to exempt forests in their state, giving them control over natural treasures owned by all Americans.

More than 2.3 million Americans have submitted comments supporting these protections. These include 36,331 comments from Colorado alone. Now its up to President Bush to stand up for these forests as well.

Anne Klaustermeier

Environment Colorado

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