Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Help Defend the North Woods from Plum Creek! Maine Forest Advocates Expose Pending Destruction of Land and Culture..

[please circulate and post this email and take a minute to make the requested call]

Hey folks,
This week i joined Native Forest Network and activists from Maine Earth First! on a snowshoe hike in the infamous North Woods. While i am no stranger to strolling through thigh-high swamp muck of the Everglades, this snow stuff is a new world to me. From moose tracks to clearcuts, these were some of the most beautiful and heartbreaking sights that i have seen... Below is a recent press release written about the fight stirring up here in the cold northern lands to defend some of the last, best wilderness in the U.S. There is also a photo link to see some of it for yourself.

For those who want to show solidarity, please call Plum Creek and tell them that you heard the news about Indian Steam and you demand that they STOP TRASHING MAINE'S FORESTS and CULTURE: Plum Creek forestry rep Rocco Pizzo, 207-695-2241

For those who might not see the connection between Maine, Florida and Plum Creek, check out the below links. This corporate monster is not our friend down in the south either:

"[S]econd largest private landowner in FL"

Proposed development of 1800 homes near Gainesville in "environmentally sensitive areas that include wetlands and the
headwaters of ecologically significant creeks"

Gopher tortoise 'concentration camps' masquerading as species conservation to facilitate sprawl in north/central FL

For the wild,
panagioti tsolkas,
co-chair of Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition

**For Immediate Release**
Contact: Native Forest Network

Forest Advocates Expose Plum Creek's Destruction of Winter Deer Yards

Photos available:

January 27, 2009

Indian Stream TWP, ME- Activists with the Native Forest Network (NFN) have reported an imminent threat to historic deer yards and late succession forests within an active Plum Creek timber harvest. The group has requested an immediate evaluation of Plum Creek logging operations in the Indian Stream area by the Maine Forest Service. The deer yards fall within the boundary of the proposed conservation easements for Plum Creek's controversial development plan, and adjacent to the Big Moose State Reserve.

Concerns regarding the timber harvest were brought to the attention of NFN by local landowners and hunters. Together they are concerned about the imminent loss of ecologically and culturally significant deer yards in the region, which is seen as a primary factor in this years' low deer harvest. NFN recently visited the site and documented deer beds, tracks and browse in parcels currently being logged and others intended for harvest. These areas are also home to intact diverse late-succession forests that are unique to Maine's North Woods.

Shirley resident, Charlie Baker expressed concern about the active cut and its planned expansion saying "Hunters in this area know that these have historically been the biggest deer yards of Somerset County. Destroying these deer yards in the middle of winter is like burning down one of our houses. Where are we expecting the deer to go?" Baker's family has lived, logged and hunted in the region for several generations. Baker continued, "I have hunted this land for over fifty years, the Indian Stream area has significant winter deer yards. We must protect this land."

Meg Gilmartin, of NFN agrees, "We believe that much of the planned cut is important winter deer habitat. This forest also has beautiful views of Eagle Rock through a canopy of giant Cedar, Spruce, Hemlock, and Birch trees. Its adjacent location to State lands makes it a prime corridor for wildlife and recreational hiking. If the tract is cut this season, an important opportunity will be lost."

The group is continuing to work with local residents, biologists, and elected officials. They are hopeful that responsible State agencies will take immediate action to stop the destruction of these forests, and are committed to defending Maine's landmark forests through every possible channel, including civil disobedience if needed.

"We have reported our observations to the Forest Service and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and we will continue exposing Plums Creek's threats to the ecological integrity and historic uses of the area," said Ryan Clarke of Sangerville. "The old forests and wildlife of Maine are public resources, we will not sit by and allow them to be destroyed."


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