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Help Prevent Industrial Logging In the Southeast

Posted: 01/25/2002
By: Kevin Colburn
The following information was generated by the Dogwood Alliance in Asheville, North Carolina. Join us in our mission to assure wise management of our forests.

Tell the US Forest Service to Acknowledge the Timber Industry's Threat to Southern Forests.


In response to growing public concern about the impacts of an expanding paper industry in the South, The US Forest Service initiated a 2-year study called the Southern Forest Resource Assessment (SFRA). A draft of the SFRA was released in November and the USFS is currently taking public comments until January 31st.
The USFS has concluded that the overharvesting of Southern forests and the intensive management of pine plantations (including chemical spraying of herbicides and fertilizers and the use of genetically modified trees) is "sustainable" and the real threat is sprawl. Yet the SFRA documents clearly that Southern forests are under tremendous pressure from the wood products industry to produce products such as paper.
The Assesment documents:
* Through 2040 30 million acres of forests will be lost to sprawl and 270
million acres will be cut by the timber industry.
* The South is producing more wood products than any other
single country in the world.
* Logging is projected to increase in the South by 50%
through 2040 to supply an increasing share of pulp and engineered wood
*Removals of pines currently exceed growth throughout the
region, and removals of hardwoods will exceed growth by 2025.
*Approximately one in every four acres of the South's forest
will be intensively managed as pine plantations, totaling 52 million acres
of pine plantations.
*From the North Carolina to Texas coasts, pine plantations
are projected to be the largest single forest management type.

The trends outlined in the SFRA have severe implications for quality of life
in our communities, our supply of clean drinking water, wildlife habitat,
and the economic livelihood of small sawmills, value-added wood products
businesses, outdoor recreation and tourism. Speak out against the
destruction of our southern forests. Tell the Forest Service to
acknowlegde the combined threat posed by increased sprawl AND the timber

What You Can Do: Please submit your comments immediately! If you are
interested in submitting organizational or more detailed comments please
contact Scot at the number or e-mail below.

Questions: Call or e-mail Scot at the Dogwood Alliance (828)251-2525 x18

Send comments to: and and cc: and

RE: Southern Forest Resource Assessment Comments

Dear Mr. Greis and Mr. Wear,

As a whitewater paddler I have a direct relationship with the forests of the Southeast. These forests provide the clean predictable flows in the rivers that I enjoy on a regular basis. The mismanagement of the forests through excess timber production leads to decreased water quality, greater extremes of high and low flows, increased water temperature, decreased aesthetics, and decreased biodiversity.

It is because of this interest that I would like to comment on the Southern Forest Resource Assessment (SFRA). I find the conclusions of this report to be
somewhat limited and in opposition to the body of the study.

Specifically, I am writing to urge you to acknowledge the threat posed by the continued expansion of industrial forestry in the final version of the report. The SFRA documents that while 30 million acres of forest will be lost to sprawl through 2040, at least 250 million acres of forests will be heavily logged by big timber companies to produce products such as paper. Removals of the South's hardwood forests will exceed growth by 2025. In addition, approximately one in every four acres of the South's "forest" will be a single-species pine plantation by 2040. The use of chemicals in pine plantations will more than double.

Despite these alarming trends, the primary conclusion drawn in the SFRA is that sprawl poses the single biggest threat to Southern forests - a finding that is grossly misleading. I hope you will rectify this oversight in the final version of the report. No one would argue that the loss of forests to sprawl does not pose a serious threat to forests. But, the impacts of big timber companies are exacerbated, not diminished, by increased urbanization, as remaining natural forests become even more important to sustaining wildlife populations, water quality, scenic beauty, recreation, tourism and value-added, quality wood products businesses.



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