Skip to comments.Environmentalists Lose Court Battle to Stop Timber Harvesting in Eastern National Forests
Posted on 06/25/2007 12:41:49 PM PDT by girlangler
Southern Appalachian Multiple Use Council
P.O. Box 1377
Clyde, NC 28721
For immediate release
June 25, 2007
Steve Henson, Executive Director
Southern Appalachian Multiple-Use Council, 828-627-3333
Environmentalists Lose Court Battle to Stop Timber Harvesting in Eastern National Forests
Clyde NC In a summary judgment ruling last week Federal Chief Judge Sandra Beckwith (Southern District Ohio) found that the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) and the US Forest Service (USFS) had properly followed federal law and biological assessments in planning and implementing forest management practices on several eastern national forests including the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina and Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. .
A number of environmental groups, spearheaded by an Indiana based group called Heartwood, filed suit in 2005 alleging that the USF&WS and the USFS had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in dealing with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements for the federally listed endangered Indiana bat (http://www.fws.gov/endangered/i/a08.html ). However, Judge Beckwith disagreed with environmentalists and found that both agencies have not violated the ESA by failing to adequately analyze the effects of the proposed actions in each of the forests in question.
Environmentalists have filed numerous lawsuits in recent years against the federal government hoping to use the ESA and the endangered bat to stop any manmade disturbance activities, particularly logging, on national forests across the eastern US. Some earlier lawsuits were won on ESA technical points by environmentalists but the federal agencies have complied with those decisions and now have some reassurance that they are dotting all the is and crossing all the ts.
Indiana bats hibernate in colonies in specific caves scattered in just a few Midwestern and Eastern states. Upon emergence from hibernating in the spring they migrate in many different directions, sometimes hundreds of miles away from their caves. During these spring and summer migrations the bats could be located anywhere in suitable habitat (usually forested riparian areas) in the Midwestern and Eastern US. Current conservation efforts are focused on protecting known hibernating caves where they are susceptible to disturbance during hibernation.
The courts decision clearly supports the USF&WS and the USFS in their assessments that timber harvesting and other national forest activities are not harmful to the existence of this imperiled specie.
Southern Appalachian Multiple-Use Council Executive Director Steve Henson said he was not surprised with the ruling as he is quite familiar with hoops that the agencies have to jump through to accommodate environmental laws and analysis. He did express frustration at the government resources expended in defense of so many environmentalists lawsuits. It is unfortunate that the taxpayers have to pay the bill for this senseless litigation. The judge continuously found that the environmental groups had not provided grounds to justify their many allegations. They apparently used the throw-it-up-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks method of litigation. The courts need to place the governments financial burden of these frivolous lawsuits on the plaintiffs when they lose. The environmentalists request and are usually granted reimbursement for their legal fees when they win a court case. Thats our tax money going to these groups so they can continue to file baseless lawsuits, he said.
The Southern Appalachian Multiple Use Council is a nonprofit organization established in 1975 to promote the balanced integration and protection of forestland values in the region.
List of Plaintiff Environmental Groups
Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project
Indiana Forest Alliance
Buckeye Forest Council
Virginia Forest Watch
National Forest Protection Alliance
National Forests Affected by Ruling
Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania
Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
Jefferson National Forest, Virginia
Too much money, time and energy are spent with the USFS defending against lawsuits to stop logging (money that could be spent on useful efforts). A very small percentage of forests are logged, and logging is good for many species.
This is great news!!!!!
excellent news. (hoo-rah!!!!!)
Most of these nuts would rather see these forests burn than to have them profit man.
Thank God we’re one step closer to thinning out the ANF, and heaven help us if it ever burned.
EARTH FIRST !!!
We’ll strip mine the other planets later.
South Lake Tahoe is paying the price for the Sierra Club and other envirowhacko orgs that have tied up the management of forests all over.
Your comment about they would rather see forests burn then stop the fires or manage the forests by thinning , replanting etc shows what ecoidiots they are.
The amounts of wildlife that are destroyed unnecessarily speaks volumes as to how misguided their efforts are.
What I would like to see are harvested forest areas set aside for slow growing hardwoods. Right now, most of our forests are managed with the idea of growing fast growing trees (softwood) for frequent harvest.
However, if even a fraction of our managed forest land was instead used for growing hardwoods, such as cherry, it would still be 50 or 100 years before they would be ready for harvest. Yet when that time came, America would again have its prized furniture, as stylish as any ever made.
Today, there is almost no “new” hardwood furniture around, and people have to be satisfied with buying increasingly expensive antique furniture.
Most of the hardwoods grown today are grown for their fruits and nuts. The older trees are replaced with younger ones that give more fruit, long before they would be good for lumber.
If we planted hardwood forests now, by the time master craftsmen could make them into fine furniture, even a small desk could be worth as much as a luxury car. America would have a near world monopoly in the finest wood furniture.
Such forests are also uniquely pleasurable to visit, as well, very different in character from pine, as well as having different flora and fauna.
My parents own acreage that was originally planted with pine by the CCC during the Depression. Some years ago, they had every third row cut down by a timber company (made a nice chunk of change) and the property is now in the process of growing hardwoods in the cleared spaces. My children and so on will get to enjoy a much changed and beautiful hardwood forest some day.
Most Americans are content to buy a bookcase made of pressed wood and covered with paper veneer for $49.95 at Office Max. When it collapses six months later, go to Wal-Mart and buy one made of pressed newspapers and painted black for $39.95.
The days of Americans buying quality furniture made of cherry, walnut and quarter-sawn oak are long past, unless it can be bought for $49.95.