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The logging proposals in Custer Gallatin National Forest are causing more harm than good. The National Forest Service (NFS) is allowing these logging exercises under the premise of preventing wildfires, however, there is not enough evidence to support this. Less than 1% of forest fires move into an area that has been logged. Why does the NFS want those who enjoy the natural beauty of the forest to have less access to these trees?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), enacted in 1969, holds that public opinion should influence decisions made about public resources, and that there must be an assessment of the impacts as well as the impacts of alternative solutions. The NFS has failed to submit a relevant review of its proposed actions. The NFS is arguing that there should not be a second look taken since there is a new forest plan in action, but this is overlooking acres of trees that will be impacted by the current action. Waiting is not an option. It is unnecessary to log these areas with a primary goal of preventing wildfires.

The thinning of these forests that are healthy will not prevent wildfires. Instead, it will allow the fire to spread rapidly through trees, causing more damage. It is urgent and important that Montanans fight against this logging action.

New to the Bozeman area, I may not have memories of growing up here. However, the brief time I have spent here has been enough for me to be in awe of the forests. Whether you’ve spent your life here, or are new to living in a city that is naturally this beautiful, appreciate the need to protect these areas from further impractical logging. Locals should deny support for the proposed logging actions and urge elected representatives to do the same.

Elle Angelo

Bozeman

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