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America's Beautiful Forests

Imagine the magnificent natural forests that greeted the first visitors to the land we call North America...

Forests of giant maple, chestnut and oak stretched from the east coast to the Mississippi valley. Spruce and pine carpeted the Great Lakes region. Ancient redwood and Douglas fir towered over the Pacific Ocean. Nearly half of our continent was covered with forests.

Thousands of plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms living in dynamic balance-a fantastic interplay of the sun's energy, the earth's minerals and pure water creating a magic web of life...trees tall as skyscrapers...animals fierce as the wolverine and powerful as the grizzly bear...birds beautiful as the scarlet tanager and majestic as the bald eagle.

While 95% of our original forests were logged during the past 200 years, a few remnants of never-logged, virgin forests remain in pockets throughout America. In many places where the original forest was logged, the native species of trees, plants and animals have returned. These second-growth natural forests store a living library of forest life descended from times past.

Our forests began their evolution 100 million years ago. Some of America's forests are home to trees 1000 or more years old.

Imagine for miles in every direction, a land barren and scarred. All the trees removed, only charred stumps dot the landscape...

Torrential floods wash away the rich topsoil and gouge deep ravines, exposing rocks, clay or sand. The bare earth is saturated with plant-killing chemicals, the land bulldozed, the remaining branches and fallen tree trunks soaked with gasoline and set on fire; every living thing above and below the ground is dead. The entire scene is crisscrossed with dirt roads leading to...nowhere.

Is this bizarre landscape a horror movie? A war zone?

No. This is a clearcut in a U.S. National Forest!

And here are more scenes from our National Forests:

  • Bald Eagles flying in terror as their 400 year old nest trees crash to the ground.

  • Salmon and their eggs smothered under an avalanche of mud sliding off of a clearcut mountainside.

  • Bears fleeing as chainsaws and bulldozers clearcut their forest sanctuaries.

These are not exceptions. For decades, the U.S. Forest Service has deliberately clearcut millions of acres of National Forests, selling off the logs to international timber corporations at bargain basement prices. Over the past 10 years, our Forest Service has spent more than 5 billion tax-dollars carrying out the destruction of our National Forests. Timber barons rake in millions, while American taxpayers lose billions!

There is a world deforestation crisis - and America is at the center of the problem.  We also hold the keys to the solution. It is time for America to lead by ending  deforestation at home.

Our own Forest Service clearcuts our National Forests and in their place plants tiny, identical tree seedlings-tree farms.

Tree farms contain only one species of tree planted by the thousands in row after row, all the same age. Having none of the diversity and fertility of natural forests, tree farms are prey to destructive fires, drought and floods, and invasions of pests and diseases. On millions of acres, tree farms have failed to grow, leaving huge regions of our National Forests permanently barren. Tree farms are an insult to nature, and should be completely banned from our public forest lands.

How can this happen?

The U.S. Congress has directed the Forest Service to clearcut our National Forests on behalf of wealthy and powerful timber and paper corporations. These corporations have bought political influence with Congress to pass laws that liquidate our priceless public forests for private profit.

This subsidized destruction of our National Forests leads to a chain reaction of deforestation and environmental pollution around the world. Clearcutting promotes overuse of paper and wood, clogging landfills and filling incinerators with waste. Small, private woodlot owners can't match subsidized government prices, and are forced to overlog and clearcut to compete in the marketplace. The U.S. exports much of its timber overseas as raw logs and wood pulp for foreign corporations. Meanwhile, we import timber from tropical rainforests, causing massive deforestation around the world and loss of jobs here at home.

We can stop this cycle of worldwide forest destruction!


  Home   |   Donate-Join  |  Take Action!  | Save The World's Forests™          4 Library Court, SE · Washington, DC 20003 · 202-544-9219
Save America's Forests is the nationwide campaign to protect and restore America's wild and natural forests.
Citizen involvement is how our laws are made. Help shape U.S. forest protection policy.
Become an activist, a group or business member, or an individual supporter.
Together, we can protect and restore America's wild and natural forests!

Yasuni Rainforest Campaign, Save Yasuni, and Save The World's Forests are part of
Save America's Forests worldwide campaign to protect and restore forests around the world
and protect the rights of indigneous forest peoples who live in them.
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