We, the steering committee and membership of Eco-Integrity Alliance, are writing in hopes of urging you to protect and preserve Buffalo Springs in the Hoosier National Forest for the invaluable benefits of carbon sequestration and storage to fight climate change, fish and wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and flooding and erosion control.
As you know, logging public lands—some of the last biodiverse ecosystems on the continent—provides an inconsequential amount of forest products. Not only that, but the Forest Service, by commandeering the tax dollars of struggling Americans, is essentially operating a welfare state for a handful of corporations, making it impossible for small, independently-owned selective forestry outfits operating on private lands to compete in the free market. Meanwhile, on a purely economic level, recreation and tourism are far more valuable to local economies
Of course, this isn’t just about Buffalo Springs, Hoosier National Forest, or Indiana. The concept of “multiple use” on 191 million acres of National Forests and 265 million acres under Bureau of Land Management is itself an oxymoron, in that the goal of watershed protection, fish and wildlife, and wilderness is, in every instance, negatively impacted by extraction.
The only sound ecological and economic choice for National Forests is to end all extraction, including logging, drilling, mining, and grazing. Indeed, preserving every acre of our public lands in the U.S. is a crucial part of protecting “Half Earth,” which the late biologist E.O. Wilson believed to be the only way to stave off ecological collapse.
We ask that you stop coming up with convoluted excuses to continue to degrade our natural ecosystems and instead do your jobs as stewards for the benefit of local communities, Americans, and citizens of the world, from present to future generations. Canceling the Buffalo Spring project is a good place to start.
Eco-Integrity Alliance Steering Committee & Members
Rebecca Diehl (Utah)
Paul Edwards (Montana)
James Ehlers (Vermont)
Keith Hammer (Montana)
Gary Macfarlane (Idaho)
Jennifer Mamola (California)
Deanna Meyer (Colorado)
Josh Schlossberg (Colorado)
Shannon Wilson (Oregon)