As U.S. senators return to work after the August recess, one of the pieces of legislation waiting for them is the "Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act" (H.R. 4200), the salvage logging bill sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).

The Walden bill would enable the U.S. Forest Service to log and build roads after forest fires, droughts, storms, and other vaguely defined “natural disturbances” without consulting with other agencies, and with merely nominal public input. These incursions would be put through on an “emergency” basis, ignoring ecosystem, watershed, and wildlife protections.

The bill specifically waives National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review for logging and other potentially damaging actions, and exempts such projects from scrutiny under the Endangered Species Act.

H.R. 4200 also would allow the Forest Service to log in roadless areas and old-growth forests.

The bill was introduced last November by Reps. Walden and Brian Baird (D-WA), and passed the House on May 17 by a vote of 243 to 182. It is now in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where it was last heard on Aug. 2.

Walden’s bill claims that logging is necessary after natural disturbances to help the forest recover, but scientific studies contradict this.

The bill is so at odds with science, and has so much potential for causing harm to forests, that 587 scientists (at last count) recently signed a letter to Congress, saying that H.R. 4200 was “misguided because it distorts or ignores recent scientific advances.”


Please tell your senators to vigorously oppose the Walden Salvage Logging bill and its attack on the national forests, science, and public participation.


Dear Sen. ______________,

Rep. Greg Walden’s (R-OR) H.R. 4200, the "Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act," would throw out protections for forests, fish and wildlife in order to rush through logging on national forests after broadly defined “natural disasters.”

The bill would exempt damaging logging projects from the environmental review and oversight requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, and cut the public out of decisions that could harm our forests.

The Walden bill claims that logging, roadbuilding and artificial replanting are necessary after natural disturbances. However, as a growing body of scientific research has shown, there is no ecologically valid need to log forests after these disturbances. Logging may actually impede restoration of forests.

This unnecessary, destructive, and costly piece of legislation should never become law. Please vote no on H.R. 4200, the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act.


Your Name
Your Address

Send your letter to:

Sen. Barbara Boxer
1700 Montgomery St., #240
San Francisco, CA 94111

Sen. Dianne Feinstein
One Post St., #2450
San Francisco, CA 94104

The American Lands Alliance website has more info on the Walden bill. Visit them at:


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

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places