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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Help Stop the Disastrous Mountain Loop Highway Clearcut!

Help Stop the Disastrous Mountain Loop Highway Clearcut!

The 13 mile dirt road segment of the Mountain Loop Highway between Barlow Pass and the White Chuck Road (south of Darrington) is an iconic drive through old growth and “near old growth” forest. There is nothing like it elsewhere in the North Cascade Mountains, perhaps not in the rest of the US.

Forest slated for clearcutting alongside Mountain Loop Hwy 
The US Forest Service now proposes a virtual clearcut along that road segment, removing over a million board feet of trees, allegedly to create better views of the surrounding mountains. All deciduous trees within 30 feet of either side of the ditch line along the road would be removed, along with all conifer trees less than 26 inches in diameter. The proposal, if implemented, would decimate that unique forest experience, replacing it with an 80 feet wide clearcut, with a few large trees dotted within the gutted forest.  

That forest was once old growth throughout its length. It is now slowly returning to what it was before logging removed most of it a century ago, with much of it already almost indistinguishable from old growth forest. If left alone, it will fully return to its former majesty. 

Your letters are needed to US Forest Service ranger Phyllis Reed at plreed@fs.fed.us to express your opposition. Please send your letters as soon as possible.

In today’s world, the USFS must be at the forefront of fighting human caused global warming. Research shows that preserving trees, not removing them, is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal via carbon sequestration of trees. The plan must be stopped immediately. And if the Forest Service continues to pursue this bad idea, please tell Ms. Reed in your letter that it must issue a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) rather than a glossed-over Environmental Assessment (EA) to fully reveal all aspects of this project, including the carbon impacts of the tree removal.

Again, Please write to plreed@fs.fed.us to express your opposition to tree removal along the dirt road section of the Mountain Loop Highway. 

Official information released by the Forest Service on the project can be found on their web site under Mountain Loop Vegetation and Road Management at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46955


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