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Proposal Details

Proposal ID830
Proposal2016 Platform Amendment Proposal: Forestry Practices Introduction
PresenterPlatform Committee, Sponsored by GPUS Platform Committee
Floor ManagerJan Martell
Discussion05/02/2016 - 05/15/2016
Voting05/16/2016 - 05/22/2016
Presens Quorum32 0.6666
Consens Quorum46 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


The current introduction to our plank on Forestry Practices doesnÕt adequately reflect the crisis our forests are experiencing throughout the U.S. and globally. Anyone who lives in forested regions Š and is paying attention Š has seen a dramatic decline in the health of forest ecosystems within the last couple of decades. This should be making headlines, just as the die-off of 50% of GermanyÕs Black Forest did in the late 1960s. Unfortunately, the U.S. Forest Service seems to be doing all it can to mollify concern rather than to address the problem. We need to take it on ourselves to awaken others to the holocaust that is occurring. Thus, we are proposing that the first two paragraphs of the introduction be replaced.


To amend Chapter III, Ecological Sustainability, Part L, Forestry Practices to read:
From oxygen production to water conservation to carbon sinks to stratospheric ozone regulation to medicines and homes for all kinds of creatures, forests are indispensable to human and animal life and must be protected.
Globally, the planet has already lost 50% of our pre-colonial forests and the plant and animal communities they supported. Our rapidly increasing numbers, high-consumption rates, and profit incentives have resulted in massive forest destruction due to logging and development, and the EarthÕs remaining rain forests are being destroyed and transformed into cattle pastures or mono-crops for bio-fuels production.
The increase in tree die-off in the U.S. and elsewhere in the last few decades is alarming. The causes are multiple: pests, diseases, climate change, acid rain, other forms of pollution, and increased UV radiation due to our thinned ozone layer.
In our Eastern woodlands, for example, the normal pre-pollution background mortality rate would be 0.5 to 0.7% per year. That translates to the death of one tree out of 100 living trees each year. Anything over a 2 or 3% mortality rate per year is considered a disaster. Yet, we are now witnessing local tree die-offs of 30 to 40% and even higher!
The fact is that the pollution inherent to our industrial production and lifestyles has weakened the resistance of the interconnected ecosystems we call forests. Malnourished due to acid rainÕs destruction of their roots, and bombarded by unusually high UV radiation, our forests are falling victim to a host of diseases and pests. Forestry practices such as clearcutting also destroy the mycorrhizal fungi with which trees have a symbiotic relationship, and regeneration is slowed or impossible.
The Green Party calls for action to protect our forests.

Current Language
III. Ecological Sustainability
L. Forestry Practices
Forests are indispensable to human and animal life and must be protected.
Vast forests once covered most land, moderating the EarthÕs remaining forests are a critical resource in that useful products, especially medicines, originate in the forest. TodayÕs 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, mos 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.


Approval of this proposal will amend the 2016 Draft Platform, to be presented for approval at the 2016 Presidential Nominating Convention.


Little, Charles E., The Dying of the Trees: The Pandemic in AmericaÕs Forests. Viking: New York, 1995.

Platform Committee
Bruce Hinkforth, co-chair,, 262-569-1370
Budd Dickinson, co-chair,, 650-773-0438
Linda Cree, author,
Tim Willard, author,

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