To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Wildlife and Habitat Restoration in our National Forests and Public Lands
This petition is to show support for providing protected areas to be set aside in our National Forests and Public Lands to be sanctuaries for wildlife, wetlands and habitat. These areas would be kept free from commercial use, hunting and trapping for the purpose of promoting healthier habitat restoration and increased biodiversity and overall oportunities for nature study and enjoyment. This would represent a more balanced approach to the "multiple use" concept that should benefit all users of Public Lands including native wildlife which are not even protected in our designated "wilderness" areas from exploitation by man!
Why is this important?
The "multiple use" concept in our National Forests and other public lands has left our natural wildlife and habitats behind again. Too much motorized access for timber, mining, recreation and unrestricted hunting and trapping have kept habitat, especially wetland habitat, from adequate protection and recovery. In particular, active beaver-managed wetlands are known to provide multiple benefits for all species including threatened and endangered species of both plants and animals. The cyclic nature of undisturbed beaver-created openings in the forest are far more productive and effective than "micro-managed" attempts to create habitat artifically with "wildlife openings" that are regularly mowed or burned, "beneficial" forest clear-cuts or artificial dams that are expensive and require maintenance. These natural wetlands also improve all aspects of our regions' hydrology including flood mitigation, drought relief, pollution and sediment reduction and forest fire suppression and yet have far too little protection in our ever-expanding world of roads, trails and other development. Goal: up to at least 10% of our publicly owned natural (relatively un-altered/undeveloped) landscapes which would also increase habitat and ecosystem continuity. This would not mandate the elimination of trails or even roads or other access but would require the above protections to be 1st priority and uncompromised to the greatest (peer-reviewed) extent practicable.