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Know the West

Northwest forest watchers

  Who says writing letters doesn't work? Last fall Okanogan National Forest in Washington received over 700 letters protesting a draft environmental impact statement for the Granite Mountain Roadless Area. As a result, forest officials dropped plans to build at least 30 miles of new roads and log 15 million board-feet of timber. Leaders of Methow Forest Watch, a grass-roots organization begun in 1990, and based in Twisp, Wash., say its 700 Washington state members were instrumental in achieving the turnaround. Methow Forest Watch members closely monitor roadless areas in the Methow watershed. Only 450,000 acres representing 25 percent of the Okanogan National Forest remain roadless, and forest officials have drafted a 10-year logging plan for these areas. For more information about the group, which publishes a quarterly newsletter, contact Methow Forest Watch, P.O. Box 473, Twisp, WA 98856 (509/997-9212).