The Act to Save America's Forests

Summary and Fact Sheet

Senate Sponsor-Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ)*
*[Senator Corzine reintroduced the Act to Save America's Forests in October of 2005.
In January of 2006 he was sworn in as Governor of New Jersey, but the Act remains a bill in the U.S. Senate for the remainder of 2006]

House Sponsors-Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
[Representatives Eshoo and Maloney reintroduced the Act to Save America's Forests in 2004.
They will be reintroducing it soon in 2006]

Clearcut logging on our public lands is destroying America's last original forests. In fact, less than 5% of our original forests still remain. This destruction is costing taxpayers billions of dollars, degrading water supplies, and forcing many species towards extinction. We must protect our children's natural heritage by passing the Act to Save America's Forests.

The Act to Save America's Forests is a nationwide, comprehensive, scientific forest management plan:

· Prohibits logging in the most ecologically sensitive and important core areas, including Ancient Forests, roadless forest areas, river corridors and key watersheds.

· Bans clearcutting, but allows environmentally sound methods of logging outside the core protected areas. It allows commercial logging to continue on federal forestlands, but at reduced and sustainable levels.

· Requires native species to be protected and restored on federal forestlands. Prohibits single species, unnatural tree plantations on federal lands.

· Protects and restores natural forests throughout federal forest system based on the principles of the science of conservation biology.

· Affects only federal forestlands, primarily national forests, not private lands.

· Transfers the Giant Sequoia National Monument from control of the U.S. Forest Service to the U.S. Park Service.

** A recent CRS report found that reduction of logging on the national forests would not cause a problem for our nation's wood and paper supply.


----The bill is supported by 140 bipartisan Members of Congress in both the Senate and the House of Represenatives.

----Over 600 of America's leading scientists support the Act to Save America's Forests , including Dr. E.O. Wilson, Dr.
----Jane Goodall, Dr. Stuart Pimm, and Dr. Peter Raven.

----The UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS has endorsed the Act to Save America's Forests.

----Citizen groups across America also support the bill, including Friends of the Earth, Humane Society of the United States, The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the nationwide Save America's Forests coalition.

The Act to Save America's Forests

Section by Section Summary


Ecologically Sustainable Logging

Logging Permitted, Clearcutting Banned- Allows ecologically compatible logging outside of the core areas of forest biodiversity. Bans clearcutting and artificial tree farms on federal forestlands. This will encourage the regrowth of high quality wood with high commercial value and will protect and restore the valuable ecosystem services provided by natural forests.

Protection of Native Biodiversity on All Federal Forests

Maintains and restores native biological diversity- Maintains and restores species and the full forest habitat in areas previously degraded by destructive logging. Maintaining native forest biodiversity will become the priority of federal forest management agencies on the National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, Wildlife Refuges, and Military lands. The management agencies will be required to restore the native plants and animals, either by active restoration projects or by letting natural processes such as natural succession take their course.

Scientific Panel- The Act appoints an independent Scientific Panel to give advice on proposed guidelines and procedures and all other issues involving forestry and native biodiversity.


Protection of Core Forest Areas on Federal Lands

Northwest Ancient Forests, Eastside Cascade Ancient Forests, and Sierra Nevada Ancient Forests- The Act prohibits logging and roadbuilding in scientifically mapped Ancient Forests in Washington, Oregon, and California, including key watersheds. This will permanently protect this rare and fragile ecosystem, and all the Ancient Forest species being pushed towards extinction under current policies.

Roadless Areas- The Act prohibits logging and new road building in all roadless areas. Roadless forests are the largest remaining unfragmented forest ecosystems in America. Many contain all the original species, and function ecologically as they have for thousands of years. Their protection from logging is critical to the full restoration of native biodiversity, and will ensure the survival of grizzly bear and other animals that need large, unbroken forest habitat.

Watershed Protection Areas- The Act prohibits logging and new road building within 300 feet of any permanently flowing stream or river, within 100 feet of any intermittent, ephemeral, or seasonal stream, within 300 feet of any natural lake or pond, and within 150 feet of any constructed lake, pond or reservoir, or natural or constructed wetland. This is vital for protecting trout fisheries and municipal drinking water supplies.

Over 100 "Special Areas"- In order to protect additional core forest areas with important ecological values, the Act prohibits logging and roadbuilding in over 100 named "special areas". These special forest areas may have been previously roaded or logged, and therefore do not qualify for protection as roadless or Ancient Forests. The Act identifies "special areas" on national forests in 28 states around the country.


Effective Date

This Act and the amendments made by this Act take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.


Giant Sequoia National Monument

The Giant Sequoia National Monument was established by President Clinton in an April 2000 Presidential Proclamation in order to protect and preserve it for future generations. The primary reason for establishing the Monument was to rescue the area from the effects of road building and severe logging implemented by the Forest Service.

The Giant Sequoia National Monument has more acres of Sequoia groves than are contained in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Calaveras Big Tree, which are the only national parks and State parks in which Sequoias occur.

The Proclamation left the Monument under the jurisdiction of the Chief of the Forest Service; the U.S. Forest Service was left with management of the Monument. Since 2000, the Forest Service has agressively promoted logging in the Monument, even in the groves of the Giant Sequoias!

Therefore, this new (2005) version of the Act to Save America's Forests will transfer control of the Giant Sequoia National Monument from the Forest Service to the U.S. Park Service, which has a good record of protecting the other Giant Sequoia forests already under its jurisdiction.