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For Immediate Release, March 6, 2009

Contact: Mollie Matteson, Center for Biological Diversity, (802) 434-2388 (office); (802) 318-1487 (cell)

White Mountain National Forest Denies Appeal of
Fourth Roadless Area Timber Sale:
"Sandwich 4" Roadless Area Slated for Clearcutting  

Center Releases Video Footage of Roadless Area Clearcutting

RICHMOND, Vt.— Thursday the U.S. Forest Service denied an appeal of the fourth recent timber sale to be planned in a roadless area on the White Mountain National Forest. The appeal was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Vermont and New Hampshire chapters of the Sierra Club. The “Kanc 7” project is slated to log 875 acres, including 112 acres of clearcutting, in the Sandwich 4 Inventoried Roadless Area, next to the Kancamagus National Scenic Byway and just north of the Sandwich Range Wilderness, a popular hiking area.

At issue is the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, enacted during the Clinton administration, which mandates the protection of national forest roadless areas nationwide. The denied appeal contends that in addition to unlawfully intruding in a roadless area, the timber sale will degrade and fragment wildlife habitat for reclusive and wide-ranging species such as black bear and American marten and release carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, when large, mature forests are clearcut.

“The White Mountain National Forest has again demonstrated that it is out of touch with science, the will of the American people, and its own analyses of the values of these roadless lands,” said Mollie Matteson, conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Clearcutting roadless areas conflicts with overwhelming public support for protecting all such places on our national forests, as sanctuaries for wildlife, clean water, and quiet recreation. This is a rogue national forest unit in dire need of corrective leadership.”

Two weeks ago, the Forest Service denied conservationists’ appeal of the Mill Brook project, which includes logging in the Kilkenny Inventoried Roadless Area, in northern New Hampshire. The Than Brook and Batchelder Brook timber sales, sited in the Wild River and South Carr Mountain Inventoried Roadless Areas, respectively, have been underway since last fall. The Forest Service denied appeals of those projects, saying that logging in roadless areas would have no significant impact on their roadless qualities.

In order to demonstrate the severity of actions being undertaken by the White Mountain National Forest, the Center for Biological Diversity is releasing video footage recorded last September in the South Carr Mountain roadless area, after clearcutting commenced. Using the example of the White Mountain National Forest’s rogue roadless area logging, the short video urges strong, nationally consistent protections for all national forest roadless areas. The Center has also created a fact sheet on the White Mountain National Forest’s roadless area logging program and its national implications. (See link under “Documents and Publications” on Center web site.)

“We hope the Obama administration will act quickly to enact strong, nationally consistent protections for all national forest roadless areas,” stated Matteson. “Until these areas are clearly and permanently protected, the Center for Biological Diversity will keep defending them, including challenging these timber sales in court if necessary.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 200,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.  

The Northeast office of the Center is in Richmond, Vermont.


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