Dear Fellow New Mexican,
THIS WEEK IN BRIEF:
-Sign this petition to help save the Santa Fe National Forest from extreme thinning: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-the-santa-fe-national-forest
-Call Representative Ben Ray Lujan, Senator Tom Udall, and Senator Martin Heinrich and ask them to tell the Forest Service to conduct an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed, and to halt the tree clearing projects until an EIS can be completed.
THIS WEEK IN DETAIL:
HELP STOP EXTREME THINNING IN THE SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST
Many thanks to Leslie Lakind for passing along the following letter from Sarah Hyden of the Santa Fe Forest Coalition (apologies if this is a repeat for some of our subscribers):
Hi, my name is Sarah Hyden.
In the recent few years, a coalition has formed called the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coaltion with the intention of doing extreme thinning (often 90%+ of standing trees) in a large area of the local Santa Fe National Forest. The purpose is to prevent and mitigate forest fire, but more current research indicates that it does not do so and the ecological and environmental damage caused by these extreme thinning projects is widespread and severe.
A coalition called the Santa Fe Forest Coaltion has been formed to call for an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed by the US Forest Service before such projects commence, so at least it is determined if this extreme thinning is even helpful and what are the cumulative impacts of so much thinning, or as we call it, tree clearing.
Help Us Save the Santa Fe National Forest!
The Santa Fe Forest Coalition was formed to call for a scientific and legal review of the tree clearing projects adopted by the US Forest Service. The Coalition believes these projects violate NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and the Bush-era Healthy Forest Restoration Act from which the program arose. Further, the Coalition believes the overall program is based on speculative science and controversial assumptions. It is not clear that extreme tree thinning prevents fire in southwestern forests, and recent science indicates that it could actually promote fire.
Most people are not aware that this program involves bringing heavy, wheeled machinery into the forest including Roadless Areas, extensive mechanical removal of as much as 90+ percent of all trees and vegetation in many areas, and prescribed burning. This process disrupts and kills wildlife, destroys nests, dens and other habitat, disrupts the forest food chain, causes erosion and sedimentation of hydrological channels, creates toxic smoke, and is very destructive of the whole forest ecosystem.
We call for an immediate halt to all tree clearing projects in the 107,000 acre "Greater Santa Fe Fireshed" (map below) on the Western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo mountains above Santa Fe until a comprehensive EIS (Environmental Impact Statement, a provision of NEPA) of the Fireshed program as a whole can be conducted. This will involve the evaluation of reasonable alternatives including "no action" using the best available science, with full public involvement.
We ask for your support to save our precious forest from irreversible damage. Please indicate your support by:
1. Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Yes" in the subject line. We'll add your email to our mailing list and keep you informed.
2. Signing our online petition at: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-the-santa-fe-national-forest
What else can you do?
· Write letters to the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican calling for a scientific analysis and EIS of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed tree clearing projects.
· Contact Representative Ben Ray Lujan, Senator Tom Udall, and Senator Martin Heinreich and ask them to tell the Forest Service to conduct an EIS for the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed, and to halt the tree clearing projects until an EIS can be completed.
The situation is urgent, please take action today!
Thank you for all you are doing!
Amelia + Marisa