The "yellow-belly" ponderosa pines, so named because their bark has yellowed with age, have been living on the Grand Canyon's North Rim since before European explorers ever landed in America. Very few are still alive -- and if the "Wild Buck" timber sale takes place later this year, more than 1,000 of them will be gone for good.
The U.S. Forest Service claims that its timber sale is necessary for "restoring the the forest ecosystem," and that "little more than one percent" of the trees slated to be removed could be considered large specimens. But almost 40 percent of timber volume in the Wild Buck Sale will come from cutting down trees larger than two feet in diameter -- meaning they're more than 200 years old. And because their tall branches and thick bark make them naturally fire-resistant, there's no need to cut them down for safety purposes.
The North Rim is also home to Kaibab squirrels, goshawks, porcupines, mule deer and elk. Enormous logging projects will put those creatures in danger in addition to the yellow-bellies.
Urge the Kaibab National Forest supervisor to stop the proposed "Wild Buck" timber sale and save our precious natural heritage.
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