More than 220 prominent scientists sent a letter to President Bush today calling for an end to logging on federally owned lands. The scientists, including E.O. Wilson, argued that the economic value of timber from public lands was insignificant compared to the environmental damage from logging, and that taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize timber harvests. The letter, a project of the Sierra Club, read in part, “Timber [from national forests] produces roughly $4 billion per year, while recreation, fish and wildlife, clean water, and unroaded areas provide a combined total of $224 billion to the American economy each year.” Timber industry officials countered that logging keeps forests healthy and supplies the market for wood products.

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