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The following is a letter from Dr. Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, to Senator Jean Carnahan
(D-Missouri) in support of the Act to Save America's Forests.



February 9, 2001

The Honorable Jean Carnahan
United States Senate
480 Russell Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Jean:

As a concerned scientist and citizen, I write in support of the Act to Save America’s Forests. The United States Has a great treasure and valuable asset in its federally-owned forests. I believe current federal forest management systems need to be revised in accordance with the latest scientific knowledge. The Act to Save America’s Forests is a proposal that makes good use of the latest scientific research and provides a concrete blueprint for managing our federal forests.

America’s most precious remaining forest ecosystems are being destroyed by clearcutting in our National Forests. Logging is occurring in groves of centuries-old trees and in our last remaining wild and roadless forests.

The Act will finally end logging in all the remaining Northwest Ancient Forests, end logging in all our remaining roadless forests, and end logging in "special" forest areas throughout our federal forest system, such as the giant Sequioa forests in California, the Sipsey wilderness in Alabama, the Lullaby White Pine Reserve in Minnesota, and the Robert Frost forest in Vermont. In addition, the Act will ban destructive clearcutting in our National Forests.

The Act to Save America’s Forests is based on the principles of conservation biology. It would make the protection native biodiversity the primary goal of federal forest management agencies. The bill would protect over 20 million acres of core forest areas throughout the nation, including ancient forests, roadless areas, key watershed, and other special areas. It is a comprehensive, sustainable, and ecologically-sound plan for protecting and restoring the entire federal forest system.

If the current pace of logging planned by the Forest Service continues, nearly all of America’s ancient and roadless wild forests will soon be lost forever. According to a recent report by the World Resources Institute, only one percent of the original forest cover remains in large blocks within the lower 48 states. The Act to Save America’s Forests incorporates the solution recommended by the report, namely to protect core forest areas from any logging and to allow sustainable forest practices around these protected forests. Endorsed by over 600 leading scientists, this bill may be the last hope for America’s forests.

By the end of the 106th Congress, the Act was supported by 135 Representatives and 6 Senators. I urge you to cosponsor this important legislation.



Peter H. Raven

P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, Missouri 63166-0299
Telephone: (314) 577-5111

Director’s Office
Fax: (314) 577-9595

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