Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, California Native Plant Society, California Wilderness Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, Environment California, Los Padres ForestWatch, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society
For Immediate Release: July 20, 2006
Groups Appeal Bush Administration’s Plans for
Coalition Seeks to Overturn Plans for Los Padres, Angeles,
A coalition of conservation organizations today appealed the Bush administration’s revised Land Management Plans for Southern California’s four national forests, outlining a litany of flaws that would result in more environmental damage on these popular, biologically rich forests.
The 250-page administrative appeal cites numerous problems with the management plans, including an inadequate and illegal analysis on related impacts to roadless and wilderness areas, plants and forests, and native wildlife species. The organizations charge that the plans focus too much on expanding roads, motorized recreation and commercial, extractive uses such as logging and oil drilling rather than protecting the natural values and low-impact recreational uses that so many citizens enjoy.
The Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland national forests are within a of couple hours’ drive of 20 million people, and boast some of the country’s most popular places to hike, camp, picnic, fish and hunt, bird watch, rock-climb, mountain bike, horseback ride, stargaze, and indulge in a host of other nature-based activities. These 3.5 million acres of public forests also are part of the California Floristic Province, which is recognized as a global biological “hotspot” – defined as an area that harbors an incredible diversity of life but is also undergoing rapid habitat loss. As such, the forest plans are tremendously important for both people and the native plants and animals of southern California.
The revised forest plans outline the management goals and strategies to be implemented for the four national forests during the next 15 years and the specific standards that the Forest Service must follow when taking management actions on these public lands. They are already confronted with grave threats from hydroelectric projects, transmission lines and utility corridors, oil and gas drilling, pipelines, mining operations, road building, commercial livestock grazing, logging, and poorly managed recreation.
“Keeping in line with the Bush administration’s methodical gutting of our nation’s environmental protections, the Forest Service has eviscerated the concept of a forest plan,” said Monica Bond, Staff Biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity and lead author of the appeal. “In these new plans, the standards – the heart of a forest plan – are vague, weak, ineffectual and riddled with loopholes. They provide no guidance to local managers and no assurance to the public that soil, water, biological, air or heritage resources will be protected as required by law.”
The formal administrative appeal was submitted to Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth in Washington D.C. The appellants include the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, California Wilderness Coalition, California Native Plant Society, Los Padres ForestWatch, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, Defenders of Wildlife and Environment California.
For a copy of the appeal, please contact Monica Bond, Center for Biological Diversity, at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Southern California’s four national forests and the management plans is available at: