Last Date for Mon Forest Plan Comments is Nov. 14th !
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by Matt Keller |
The Monongahela National Forest is the heart and soul of wild and wonderful West Virginia, so we need your comments submitted to the Forest Service by the November 14th deadline!
The Monongahela National Forest is the heart and soul of wild and wonderful West Virginia. Sadly, the Forest Services recently released draft 15-year management plan for the Monongahela puts our forest at risk. The agency has chosen Alternative 2 as its preferred alternative, which would allow logging and road building in protected areas. In addition, the agencys plan does not recommend many of our wildest places for wilderness leaving special places like the spectacular Seneca Creek West Virginias largest unprotected roadless area) off the list.
The Forest Service should choose Alternative 3, a balanced proposal that would permanently protect the Mons wildest places.
Your comments on the draft Monongahela Forest Plan are needed to make sure that clean water, wildlife, backcountry recreation, and wilderness come first, and that the Monongahela National Forest will be protected for generations to come.
Make Your Comments Count!
The Forest Service requires substantive comments on the draft forest plan. In your letter, please address specific things you want to see in the forest plan, and your reasons why. This is necessary to ensure that your comments are appropriately counted by the U.S. Forest Service. Please also mention the names of places that you want to see protected as wilderness and, if possible, base your comments on personal experiences.
Please send your comments to the Forest Service by November 14, 2005 and tell them:
· Protecting wilderness and wild areas should be top priority.
Wilderness designation will protect watersheds, safeguard fish and wildlife habitat, protect backcountry recreation opportunities, and enhance economic opportunities. Alternative 3 is a great start, recommending two additions to existing wilderness areas and designation of nine new wilderness areas, including the well loved Seneca Creek, Spice Run, Big Draft, and East Fork of Greenbrier.
· The Forest Service should recommend all 15 special wild areas identified by the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition.
The agency should choose Alternative 3 and amend it to expand the Dolly Sods Wilderness and make new wilderness recommendations for North Fork Mountain, Lowerr Laurel Fork, Roaring Plains, Little Allegheny Mountain, and Laurel Run.
· Alternative 3 protects additional backcountry areas (6.2 areas).
These areas are essential to protecting wildlife and recreational opportunities vital to local economies. Any new 6.2 areas established must remain free from roads.
· Logging and clearcutting should not be increased.
Alternative 2 would more than triple the amount of timber cutting allowed on the Mon, open protected areas to logging and roads, and raise the maximum size of clearcuts from 25 to 40 acres. Clearcutting and roads pose the greatest threats to fish and wildlife, and increase the risk of flooding.
· Streams and rivers must be protected.
The Mon provides drinking water to thousands and sustains over 90 percent of the states trout streams. The Forest Service should safeguard these vital watersheds from logging and road construction.
Mail your letter to: Monongahela National Forest, Attn: Forest Plan Revision, 200 Sycamore Street, Elkins, WV 26241. Or, fax it to (304) 637-0582.
Or e-mail your comments to email@example.com, and please send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information, please visit www.wvwild.org.
To submit your comments via the internet, please visit the Chapter website http://westvirginia.sierraclub.org/ . Then scroll down below the Seneca Creek picture and use the link under Take Action: