Forests are indispensable to human and animal life and must be protected.
Vast forests once covered most land. They moderate the Earth's climate and provide 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 destroys 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, in a few seasons, ruin the soil, while in the meantime landowners hoard prime agricultural land for speculation. In California, 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:
Overhaul California and U.S. Forest Service rules to protect our forests and use them wisely.
Review, reform and restructure all federal and state land-use policies so that our practices become environmentally sustainable, and forests will provide a continuing supply of high quality wood products.
Stop building logging roads in national forests at taxpayers' expense. These roads not only cost more than the revenue from timber sales which they expedite, but they also contribute to soil erosion and silting of streams which ruin fish habitats.
Ban the harvest of Ancient Forests.
Ban the export of raw logs and other minimally processed forest products (pulp, chips, carts, slabs, etc.), which causes American job loss.
Offer subsidies to local watershed-based mills. This will maximize employment opportunities through value-adding processing, and promotes sustainability and worker control.
Use work projects, goats and other sustainable methods to control undergrowth rather than spraying herbicides, especially near communities.
Grow and use hemp as a plentiful and renewable resource for the manufacture of paper and other forest products.
Protect significant archaeological, historical and cultural sites.
Support the rights of people indigenous to the rain forest, and their ecologically sound use of the forests - such as rubber extraction, nut gathering and collection of medicinal herbs. We should end the importation of rain forest beef.
Forgive the debts of Third World countries that need help in halting the destruction of their rain forest lands. [see Third World Debt plank]
Develop labels that identify ecologically sound forest products. This would help consumers to support ecologically sound forestry.
Maintain and restore values such as the protection of wildlife habitats, fisheries, biodiversity, scenery and recreation. We must accept responsibility for the effect local actions have on the global economy and ecology.