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Over 600 of America's leading scientists signed this letter to Congress urging passage of the Act to Save America's Forests. Many of these scientists, including Dr. Raven, Dr. Goodall, and Dr. Wilson, have personally visited Congress to educate the members about the crisis of forest destruction and the need to pass this legislation into law.

Dear Members of Congress,

We the undersigned concerned scientists are alarmed at the peril to the biosphere and humanity caused by deforestation of our nation's forestlands.

Clearcutting and other even aged silvicultural practices and timber road construction have caused widespread forest ecosystem fragmentation and degradation. The result is species extinction, soil erosion, flooding, destabilizing climate change, the loss of ecological processes, declining water quality, diminishing commercial and sport fisheries, and recently, mudslides in Oregon which killed American citizens.

Less than 5% of America's original forests remain, and these forests are found primarily on federal lands. Logging in the last core areas of biodiversity is destroying the remaining intact forest ecosystems in the United States. At the current rate of logging, these forests and their priceless biological assets will be destroyed within a few decades.

We urge Congress to pass the Act to Save America's Forests. It is the first nationwide legislation that would halt and reverse deforestation on all our federal lands. By implementing protective measures based on principles of conservation biology, the bill provides a scientifically sound legislative solution for halting the rapid decline of our nation's forest ecosystems.

The Act to Save America's Forests will:

Make the preservation and restoration of native biodiversity the central mission of Federal forest management agencies.
Ban extractive logging in core areas of biodiversity and the last remnant original forest ecosystems: roadless areas, ancient forests and special areas of outstanding biological value.
Protect sensitive riparian areas and watershed values by banning extractive logging in streamside buffer zones.
End clearcutting and other even age logging practices on federal land.
Establish a panel of scientists to provide guidance to federal forest management.

We believe it is our professional responsibility to ask Congress to align Federal forest management with modern scientific understandings of forest ecosystems. Passage of the Act to Save America's Forests will give our nation's precious forest ecosystems the best chance or survival and recovery into the 21st century and beyond.

Dr. Peter Raven
Home Secretary,
National Academy of Sciences
Director, Missouri Botanical Gardens

Jane Goodall, C.B.E., Ph.D.
Director of Science and Research
The Jane Goodall Institute
(Silver Spring, MD)

Edward O. Wilson, Ph. D.
Pellegrino University Research Professor
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

... and over 600 other leading biologists, ecologists, foresters, and scientists from other forest specialties.

E.O. Wilson Lecture and Slide Show in the U.S. Senate

Dr. Jane Goodall's Press Conference and Lecture in the U.S. Senate

Dr. Peter Raven's letter to the Senate endorsing the Act to Save America's Forests

Read more information and a summary of the Act, and link to the Act text

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