National Forest Logging Program Deep in the Red

Western Ancient Forest Campaign wafcdc at igc.apc.org
Thu Dec 18 16:40:30 EST 1997


From: Steve Holmer <wafcdc at igc.apc.org>
Subject: National Forest Logging Program Deep in the Red


National Forest Logging Program Deep in the Red
     For the first time ever, the Forest Service has admitted that the
timber sale program lost $15 million in 1996 based on the Timber Sale
Program Information Reporting System (TSPIRS).  However, this
figure does not include the $240 million paid to states, the $42 million
for building logging roads or the unknown cost to rehabilitate forests
and streams damaged by this logging.  A more accurate estimate is that
the timber sale program lost at least $300 million in 1996.  

     Since 1992, the timber sale program has lost $1.529 Billion
according to various reports from the Government Accounting
Office ($995 million lost from 1992-94), the White House Council of
Economic Advisors ($234 million lost in 1995) and the Forest
Service's 1996 TSPIRS report.  That is an average cost of over $300
million every year.  During this same period, the timber industry
received an average of four billion board feet of timber per year,
while the taxpayers got nothing in return for these plundered
assets.

     The losses grew so large this year that the Forest Service was
unable to make required payments for roads, recreation programs and
state reimbursements because the National Forest Fund was bankrupt. 
Agency officials transferred $77 million from the KV and salvage funds
to pay for this shortfall.  GAO auditors criticized the agency's response
and said the problems "are an illustration of the much larger fiscal
accountability problems facing the Forest Service."

Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

Western Ancient Forest Campaign
1025 Vermont Ave. NW  3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
202/879-3188
202/879-3189 fax
wafcdc at igc.org




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