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EarthLight is a magazine published quarterly by the Unity with Nature Committee
of the Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends [Quakers]

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News of the Earth

Faith-based Movement Fights for Headwaters

[EL #24, Winter 1996-97, pp 4]

On April 26, 1996, the involvement of the religious community in the environmental crisis took on a new dimension. It was related to the struggle of persons across the United States to preserve the now-famous Headwaters Forest in northern California. And even more significantly, it was rooted in God's scriptural call for the faithful to be good stewards of the earth, as God's sacred creation.

[For some background information. go to Headwaters Forest .]

On that April day, an interfaith group of religious leaders gathered in front of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral to call on President Clinton to save Headwaters Forest-the first such action by an interfaith delegation on behalf of endangered creation.
Leaders from Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths in northern and southern California, plus an official of the national Evangelical Environmental Network held a press conference, organized by the representatives of the World Stewardship Institute (WRI) of northern California.
Like seasoned environmental lobbyists, they called on Congressman Frank Riggs to withdraw his damaging HR2712 and spoke passionately on behalf of preserving the Headwaters Forest as a value arising from their faith, saying it was "blasphemous" to destroy the few remaining redwoods dating back to the time of Christ. They urged the President to secure Headwaters protection "for all generations" and to promote a debt-for-nature exchange acquisition strategy covering the entire 60,000 acre.
Following the government "deal" in September, 1996 and the beginning of cutting in one unprotected old-growth grove, the group-now growing with some participating in the massive demonstrations - escalated their actions in their role as religious leaders. Meeting with California Resource Secretary Douglas Wheeler, they urged him to institute a moratorium on "salvage logging" in the four unprotected groves. He refused. And on October 3 they met with Pacific Lumber's CEO and asked permission to visit all six groves, and for the 10-month moratorium to cover all six. Both requests were denied. Now they, and many others influenced by them, are working for a debt-for-nature swap for the full 60,000 acres.

For more information on this faith-based movement, contact the

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Page last updated on 2/25/97 by Tom Farley of Spontaneous Combustion