Members of The Grateful Dead rock group plan to use their musical talents to call attention to the Earth's deteriorating rain forests, including a benefit concert scheduled for next weekend.

"They're wiping out the rain forest at the rate of 50 million acres a year," lead guitarist Jerry Garcia said Tuesday. "That's the equivalent of England, Wales and Scotland every year - or 1 square mile every six minutes. In 60 years, they'll all be gone. As a person, a musician and a citizen of Earth, I object."

Garcia, rhythm guitarist Bob Weir and drummer Mickey Hart were on hand to announce the group had joined forces with Greenpeace USA, Rainforest Action Network and Cultural Survival to achieve their stated goal of preserving the remaining rain forests.

The San Francisco-based band, which has a long history of playing benefits for various causes, will donate the proceeds of a Sept. 24 benefit concert at Madison Square Garden to the three organizations.