Sportsmen and Hunting Groups Write President Bush about Forest Management, by Gretchen Randall

BACKGROUND: In the ongoing argument over logging in national forests, a group of hunting and sportsmen’s clubs wrote President Bush last week pointing out that forest management is as essential for wildlife conservation as it is for healthy forests. Young forests, which grow after either forest fires or logging, are necessary for many species to survive ­ such as the ruffed grouse, American woodcock, wild turkey, golden-winged warbler and Kirtland’s warbler.

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: While we are busy saving “old growth” forests for the spotted owl, we imperil other species that need young growth to survive.

THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: Nature knows best and has always provided through natural means such as forest fires, the mix of old and new growth forests that are necessary for all varieties of wildlife to survive. When man intervenes for one species or to just protect “old growth” trees, we upset nature’s balance and put other species at risk.

DISCUSSION: The letter was signed by thirty-one groups including the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Izaak Walton League of America, National Rifle Association and Ruffed Grouse Society. It says, “Forest management practices, including commercial timber harvest and prescribed fire, are essential tools in the maintenance of diverse, healthy forest landscapes. The removal of either of these tools from the hands of trained resource professionals on our National Forests would be a disservice to sportsmen and, more importantly, our nation’s forest wildlife.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See a copy of the letter at

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