ANCIENT FOREST ROADSHOW-Andrew Stelzer06/10/04
A van pulling a 1000-pound slice of a 400-year-old tree stump came to Tampa today. The piece of stump came from a tree that was cut down by logging operation which many people say should be stopped, it came all the way from Oregon as part of the Ancient Forest Roadshow, an effort to educate the public about how few to protect the few remaining old growth forest remain in the United States. WMNFÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Andrew Stelzer has the more.
ACT Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve traveled across the country top show people what the bush administration is doing to old growth forestÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬? Seth Cool has been traveling with the ancient forest road show since April
ACT-Cool Ã¢â‚¬Å“Its really hard for people to understand what these trees look likeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦these trees are hugeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the ancient forests road show is towing a slice of a 420 year old tree, from Oregon berry patch timber sale our other one is a foot wider, weighsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s over 88 thousand acres 188 timber sales planned on public landÃ¢â‚¬?
Although the logging of ancient forests is a more visible issue in the western United States, there are still some precious trees remaining in Florida. There are 50,000 acres of original unroaded national forests in Florida, out of over a million acres of total national forest. The Ocala is the first national forest on the east coast, but because of changes to the roadless rule made by President bush, 7,000 acres in the Ocala are currently at risk for having roads built and trees cut down. Tom Wheatly, the Southeast Coordinator with the Alaska Coalition, says that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not just an environmental issue.
ACT Ã¢â‚¬Å“This isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just and environmental issue, its also a taxpayer issue. Floridians are paying taxes, given to the timber industry, in southeast Alaska the industry loses 35 million dollars a yearÃ¢â‚¬Â¦they actually have over 5000 miles of roads are pushing new timber sales. Tax payers are going to pay for roads we have major traffic problems here in Tampa and they are building roads to nowhere in Alaska thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not meeting the needs of the cityÃ¢â‚¬?
The road show started in Portland in April, passing through Reno, New Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington DC. After Tampa, they will go to southern Florida then Georgia, South and North Carolina. Forest Berg says that touring the United States talking to people about environmental issues has showed him that the details are different where ever you go, but the struggles to prevent destruction of the natural world are similar at their roots.
ACT Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every state has an issue, Tennessee,
The ancient forest Road show is scheduled to be outside the Tampa Bay Devil Rays games the next 3 days, ten they will be headed to Miami before they go North through Jacksonville and Gainesville. For more information, call 360-739-8816 or go to www.forestroadshow.org
For WMNF news, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Andrew Stelzer