Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Forestry
Section title: Forestry
Section subtitle: Preserving our forests for future generations
Our position: Greens aim to preserve our forests and the wildlife that live there, and to increase the amount of forested land.
Our forests are essential to sustaining Earth and life on it. They are home to most of the world's land-based animals and plants. They protect us from climate change by storing carbon.
Sustainable forestry has been a buzzword that has not been well practiced in this country. Forest lands that are well-managed provide healthful environments for all species, timber for human uses, protection against fire and insect damage, and a mix of age classes in each region. We need a sense of stewardship that maintains forest biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.
1. Prohibit commercial logging on public lands.
2. Ban any harvesting of old-growth forests.
3. Outlaw clearcutting and promote selective harvesting as a sustainable alternative.
4. Discourage mono-cropping when replanting forest lands. Research and develop sustainability practices that include soil enrichment using forest ecology.
5. Overhaul local, state and U.S. Forest Service rules to ensure that our forests are protected and remain for the enjoyment and sustainable use by future generations.
6. Tax the sale of raw wood, pulp, chips, carts, slabs abroad to restore the making of wood products in the United States and restore the jobs to make them.
7. Support mandatory recycling programs at the state and local level.
8. Require labeling that identifies the nature of and origin of lumber products.
9. Support indigenous forest peoples and protect their gathering practices for food and medicine.
10. Grow and use hemp, kenaf and other renewable non-wood resources for the manufacture of paper and other forest products.
2004 PLATFORM ON FORESTRY
Forests are indispensable to human and animal life and must be protected.
Vast forests once covered most land, moderating the Earth’s climate and providing habitats for myriad species of wildlife. The Earth’s remaining forests are a critical resource in that useful products, especially medicines, originate in the forest. Today’s global market economy, in the hands of multi-national corporations, irresponsibly uses and often destryoys this valuable and irreplaceable resource.
The governments of many countries are selling off their rain forest land to cattle growers for the production of cheap beef, most of which is exported to first-world countries such as the U.S. Unsuitable rain forest land is also given to subsistence farmers who ruin the soil in a few seasons. In the meantime, landowners hoard prime agricultural land for speculation. On both state and federal lands, trees are harvested and the raw logs are exported, causing jobs to be exported.
The Green Party calls for actions to protect our forests:
1. Overhaul state and U.S. Forest Service rules to protect our forests and use them wisely.
2. Review, reform and restructure all federal and state land-use policies so that our practices become environmentally sustainable, and so that forests provide a continuing supply of high quality wood products.
3. Stop building logging roads in national forests at taxpayers’ expense. These roads not only cost more than the revenue from timber sales that they expedite, but they also contribute to soil erosion and silting of streams, which ruin fish habitats.
4. Ban the harvest of Ancient Forests.
5. Ban the export of raw logs and other minimally processed forest products (pulp, chips, carts, slabs, etc.), which causes American job loss.
6. Offer subsidies to local watershed-based mills. This will maximize employment opportunities through value-added processing, and promote sustainability and worker control.
7. Use work projects, goats, and other sustainable methods to control undergrowth rather than spraying herbicides, especially near communities.
8. Grow and use hemp as a plentiful and renewable resource for the manufacture of paper and other forest products.
9. Protect significant archaeological, historical and cultural sites.
10. Support the rights of people indigenous to the rain forest, and their ecologically sound use of the forest – such as rubber extraction, nut gathering, and collecting medicinal herbs. End the importation of rain forest beef.
11. Forgive the debts of Third World countries that need help in halting the destruction of their rain forest lands.
12. Develop labels that identify ecologically sound forest products. This would help consumers to support ecologically sound forestry.
13. Protect of wildlife habitats, fisheries, biodiversity, scenery, and recreation. We must accept responsibility for the affect local actions have on the global economy and ecology.