News Briefs

Monongahela NF Increases Cut

Conservationists in West Virginia are urging the public to oppose a U.S. Forest Service amendment to the Monongahela National Forest’s management plan for threatened and endangered species. The plan outlines an increase in logging to 10 million board feet (almost double what it is now) and 100 acres of herbiciding a year. The amended plan also calls for 68 new gas well sites with 19 miles of new roads and 82 miles of new gas pipelines in the next 10 years. According to conservationists, this plan weakens protection for threatened and endangered species to allow for an increase in logging and gas extraction. For more info, visit To comment on the amendment, e-mail

Rare Woodpeckers To Be Moved

In the latest sad chapter of Kentucky’s endangered red-cockaded woodpecker recovery, biologists are planning to capture the 15 remaining birds and relocate them to wildlife refuges in South Carolina and Arkansas, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. The move is a desperate attempt to save the birds after a “record outbreak of southern pine beetles” destroyed much of their remaining old-growth pine habitat. Forest protection group Heartwood says that the USFS set the stage “for the bird’s demise in KY because it allowed to much logging.” The USFWS hopes to bring the woodpeckers back to the Daniel Boone National Forest in 50 years after the forests have “recovered” from the infestation (the beetles are KY natives.)

Va. Activists Storm Staples Stores

On March 28, Virginia forest activists targeted Staples stores across the state in a campaign to convince the giant chain to stop selling virgin fiber. In Richmond, Blue Ridge Earth First! activists dropped a huge banner from the roof of Staples reading, “Stumps, We Got That!” About 30 activists turned out for the demo and delivered a truck load of stumps to the Staples Store. In Charlottesville, the Shenandoah Ecosystems Defense Group brought about 40 community members to protest at their local Staples store using political theatre: a gigantic stapler chased trees around the parking lots while Mother Earth intervened on their behalf. Staples protests also occurred in Williamsburg and Harrisonburg.


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