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  Environmental Action Issues
 

Here are some issues that could use your help. Although we try to concentrate on specific happenings with pulp and paper issues, we will also include one or two environmental issues of importance in the Northern Rockies Ecoregion.

NORTHERN ROCKIES ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION ACT (NREPA)


A BILL BEFORE CONGRESS TO PROTECT THE WILD ROCKIES

A CALL FOR LETTERS TO CONGRESS - WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY

WILDEST BILL GAINING SUPPORT ON THE HILL:
On February 6th, 2001, Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA), HR 488, in the 107th Congress. Forty-six bipartisan members of the House of Representatives have joined Shays and Maloney as co-sponsors of the first and most comprehensive wilderness bill before this Congress. The Sierra Club is sponsoring a March 5-9 NREPA congressional lobby week with club members from all over the country meeting with Representatives. We need you to write a letter to your Representative in support of NREPA to boost their lobbying efforts (sample letter at the end of this e-mail).

ABOUT H.R. 488...THE BIG PICTURE - Wilderness-Based Ecosystem Protection:
HR 488 goes beyond arbitrary state boundaries to protect naturally functioning wildland ecosystems covering the states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Oregon and Washington.

NREPA protects more than 20 million acres of federal land in the region as wilderness, national preserves and wildlife migration corridors. The bill also designates 1,800 miles of new wild & scenic rivers, and creates 2,300 new wildlands restoration jobs. NREPA saves taxpayers over $100 million by preventing below-cost timber sales and taxpayer subsidized road-building. The bill creates over 2,300 wildlands restoration jobs to help restore healthy populations of fish, plant and wildlife species.

This visionary blueprint for conservation planning led Outside magazine to write, "No current environmental proposal matches the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act for size, sweep, and sheer brassy political nerve."

Some of the nation's top economists and scientists support the bill including Drs. John and Frank Craighead, Dr. Michael Soule', University of Montana Economic Chairman, Dr. Thomas Power, and many more. The act heeds warnings from the scientific community that without preservation of core ecosystems and biological corridors in the northern Rockies, long-term survival of the many unique wildlife populations in the region is hopeless.

FOR MORE INFO ON NREPA:
For more information on NREPA please visit this website: http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/nrepa
mailto:awr@wildrockiesalliance.org

NREPA is supported by Treecycle. It was first introduced in Congress in September, 1992. We encourage you to contact your congressional delegation and ask them to sign on and support this important step in conservation.

WRITE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
Please take a few moments to jot down a letter to your representative (see sample letter below).

If you do not receive a response to your letter within 45 days call your representative via the capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121 Ask to speak with the legislative aid who works on environmental issues . If your representative is a sponsor please send a brief thank you note for sponsoring NREPA.

Website to find out who your representative is: http://www.house.gov/writerep Punch in your state and zip code (+ four digit postal code if needed).

SAMPLE NREPA LETTER

Honorable Representative _______________
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative _________________,

Please consider cosponsoring the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, H.R. 488 (NREPA).

This bi-partisan bill will save taxpayers at least $100 million over the first ten years by prohibiting deficit roadbuilding and timber sales in public roadless areas. NREPA will create over 2,300 high-paying jobs ($20/hour+) by establishing the Wildlands Recovery Corps and restoring public lands damaged by poor management.

HR 488 would protect more than 20 million acres of federal lands in parts of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington as Wilderness, National Preserves, and Biological Corridors. NREPA designates over 1,800 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers. The northern Rockies is home to populations of grizzly bear, wolf, bison, elk, woodland caribou, bull trout, salmon and numerous other species.

NREPA is supported by more than 1,000 businesses and organizations including: The Wilderness Society, Republicans for Environmental Protection (Rep America), Greenpeace USA, National Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and thousands of individuals.

For the record, I strongly support this landmark legislation. Please let me know whether or not you will sponsor NREPA. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Your Name & Address

FREE TRADE AREA OF THE AMERICAS (FTAA)


FREE TRADE AREA OF THE AMERICAS (FTAA)


The FTAA is the expansion of a NAFTA-like (North American Free Trade Agreement) throughout the Western Hemisphere, excluding Cuba. If the FTAA takes effect, it will provide the international timber industry with yet another incentive to decimate global forest ecosystems.

The Summit Of The America's trade minsters will be pushing the Advanced Tariff Liberalization (ATL), known by its critics as the Global Free Logging Agreement (GFLA). The GFLA was tabled at the ill-fated November 1999 Seattle ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO), largely due to the work of activists, organizers, and citizens like ourselves. It seeks to eliminate tariff and non-tarriff barriers on raw logs and timber products. This is projected to increase the timber harvest globally by3-4%, and thus provide further impetus for unsustainable logging practices in order to supply this gluttonous demand. The timber lobby will seek to move forward with this agreement this April at the Summit of The Americas in Quebec City.

In addition, the FTAA will nullify common sense regulatory measures including Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade (NTBs). NTBs include: sanitary/phyto-sanitary regulations, regulations controlling the flow of uninspected forest products, possible hosts to ecosystem- ravaging invasive species, as well as GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TREES. Common sense regulatory measures like state, regional, national, and international environmental laws protecting workers, prohibiting toxics, and controlling pollution, among others will be nullified by the FTAA. The FTAA will provide legal avenues for the timber industries to expand their operations to previously unlogged areas with less regulations and no accountability. The FTAA is a direct threat to the ability of forest communities to decide how to utilize and protect local forest ecosystems.

The official site of the FTAA is http://www.ftaa-alca.org/
The Native Forest Network site had good stuff on the opposition which is at http://www.nativeforest.org/
Another good site is http://www.stopftaa.org/ It has a lot of information and links to the other sites.
http://www.citizen.org/pctrade/FTAA/ftaahome.html has a less passionate more informative page with facts on the ftaa, history, and demands.