A new bill from a California congressman would wipe out recent court decisions and ramp up timber cutting again in Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) introduced H.R. 5760, the “Giant Sequoia National Monument Transition Act of 2006,” on July 11. The measure would allow all timber sales grandparented in when the monument was established by presidential proclamation in 2000 to go forward, regardless of court decisions or forest plan amendments.

The U.S. Forest Service has been conducting large-scale, liquidation logging in and around groves of giant sequoias, endangering the big trees. Forestry activists have protested this logging, pointing out that, among other damaging effects, taking other trees out of the groves would leave the giant sequoias vulnerable to windthrow. Moreover, logging trees as large as 30 inches in diameter would also result in a drier, more fire-prone forest.

A lawsuit filed in 2005 by the John Muir Project, Sequoia ForestKeeper and the Sierra Club over the Forest Service’s timber sales in the monument resulted in a favorable court decision that halted the logging. In his decision, the judge cited the Forest Service’s failure to account for the potential environental harm the logging project might cause.

Now H.R. 5760 would supersede that court decision and allow the logging to begin again. The bill would permit all timber sales under contract when the proclamation was issued to go forward without legal challenge or appeal.

It states: “. . . implementation of the timber sales . . . may proceed immediately and to completion, notwithstanding any previous or future amendments or revisions to the Sequoia Land and Resource Management Plan or the Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan.”

H.R. 5760 has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and the Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health.

We urge you to call your representative today and ask him or her to oppose H.R. 5760, the so-called Giant Sequoia National Monument Transition Act.

You can reach your representative by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and giving your zip code.

To see a gallery of full-color photos showing the destructive logging in Giant Sequoia National Monument, visit the Forests Forever website at:


To see a video about the logging in the monument, narrated by Martin Litton, Forests Forever advisory council member and renowned sequoia advocate, visit the John Muir Project website at:



Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places