President Obama: Please order USDA and the Department of Energy to remove heaters from El Yunque Rai

El Yunque Rainforest is an ecological region of 28 000 acres which lies on the eastern side of Puerto Rico, surrounded by heavily urbanized areas and housed with cement structures. It is managed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its branch agency, US Forest Service. Other US agencies also co manage the forest and its other name “Luquillo Experimental Forest” designates its use for military experiments. It is the only rainforest under US federal control, obtained after the Treaty of Paris of 1898. US agencies' aggressions against El Yunque are numerous. In the 1960’s the Pentagon experimented over El Yunque and other woods in Puerto Rico with the highly dangerous herbicides commonly known as “Agent Orange” and “Agent White” as well as with many other substances before its defoliating campaign over Vietnam. Also in the 1960’s the (former) US Atomic Energy Commission subjected sections of El Yunque to Gamma Rays emitted by radioactive isotopes such as Cesium 134 for 92 days in a row. In 1986 a plan by the US Forest Service to log one sixth of El Yunque and hand it over to a US commercial logging firm was uncovered and halted by public outcry. Last year it was revealed that another destructive experiment is on the way. The road was paved in the 1990’s and the 2000’s with a US Forest Management Plan and new US Federal legislation which expanded the borders of the physical area under US control and added other resources. PL 107-365 passed in 2002, enabled the appropriation of three pristine rivers to be managed by the Department of Interior and its branch agency, Fish and Wildlife, while PL 109-118, amply supported by Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, was passed in 2005 and added 10 000 additional acres to US agencies management.
The new experiment consists of heating up plots with hexagon configuration, in such a way that canopy and soil are warmed at the same time so there will be no escape neither to flora nor to fauna. This will be achieved by installing heaters on crossbars connected to posts at each of the six corners of the hexagon. The name of the project is “Tropical Responses to Altered Climate Experiment” (TRACE) and it is funded by the Department of Energy. Molly Cavaleri heads the study and is a tree physiologist who studies at Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. She was cited as thrilled when actually she’s set to destroy what she didn’t build nor owns. “This is the first field experiment of its kind ever done in a tropical forest,” she says. “We will be manipulating the environment, warming the leaves and branches of the canopy as well as the smaller plants on the forest floor, not just observing.” The other two principal investigators are Tana E Wood and Sasha C. Reed, both working for US federal agencies.
The ethics of burning wildlife in order to reach so called new scientific knowledge are to be questioned no matter where it is carried out. In the case of Puerto Rico, a small island with a lovely rainforest which is small itself there is no possible buffer zone. Endangered species, such as the Puerto Rican parrot and the fragile coqui frog will be at an even higher risk and others could end up being modified in ways that might alter the entire ecological system and stress its coexistence with the human population. The crucial water supply of its rich aquifers will be put in jeopardy when altering artificially the temperature of its soil and canopy impinges on the water cycle. At present this ecosystem is under great stress due to the “heat island” effect produced by the surrounding urban areas and a current drought that has forced water rationing precisely on the eastern side of Puerto Rico. Lastly, the question of the colonial status of Puerto Rico and the imperialistic designs of the US over its land and resources makes this issue an international problem.
Project Description - Tropical Responses to Altered Climate ...

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Update #27 years ago
The petition was sent via certified mail, to the president of USA, B. Obama on Thursday, January 13th., 2017. There were 3009 signers, the score counter suffered some kind of glitz but fortunately C2 took care of it and all signatures were saved. We were able to reach petitioners in towns surrounding El Yunque such as Canovanas, Rio Grande and Luquillo. Thanks to Nick and C2 for guiding me through out the protocol. Thanks to all signers. Much work remains to be done on this issue.
Update #17 years ago
The petition will be sent to President Obama any day now. Then it will be closed. We had technical problems downloading signatures. Organized youth in Puerto Rico do know about the experiment and disapproves it but work remains to be done with the general population.
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