WAFC Forest Focus - February 18, 1998

Western Ancient Forest Campaign wafcdc at igc.apc.org
Wed Feb 18 19:59:43 EST 1998

From: Steve Holmer <wafcdc at igc.apc.org>
Subject: WAFC Forest Focus - February 18, 1998

FOREST FOCUS, the bulletin of the Western Ancient Forest
Campaign, February 18, 1998  To reach us call (202)879-3188, fax
(202)879-3189, or email WAFCDC at igc.apc.org

NO SURPRISES --  Endangered species advocates had hoped that the
delay in promulgating the "No Surprises" rule might mean the
Administration was backing off of the idea, but Interior Secretary Bruce
Babbitt held a news conference yesterday to announce its promulgation. 
The Administration ignored nearly 800 comments in opposition to No
Surprises from scientists, state resource agencies, environmental
groups, and Members of Congress.  Studies published by Defenders of
Wildlife, WAFC, and a national group of scientists have drawn
attention to the failure of most HCPs to meet basic scientific standards. 
Over 2.5 million acres of non-federal forests in Washington, Oregon,
and California are already affected by HCPs; proposed HCPs could
cover another 7.8 million acres.  "This No Surprises rule continues to
lock in [logging] plans that subsidize rapid resource liquidation and
lock out endangered species," said WAFC's Daniel Hall in a release.

AG VOTE --  The House Agriculture Committee could vote on the
Smith Forest Health bill as soon as the first week of March, WAFC has
learned from Hill sources.  It is also possible that the measure could
come to the House floor for a vote later in March, before lawmakers
go home for a recess April 2.  A fact sheet on the legislation from the
Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund compares the bill to the Craig forest
health bill and the Rescissions Act Logging Rider: H.R. 2515 "is the
latest in a series of proposals that have been based on the shaky
assumption that there is a national 'forest health' crises and that
increased logging is the 'cure'."   WAFC says that real forest health
issues can be dealt with by changing priorities in the Forest Service
budget to secure funds for road removal, prescribed fire, and watershed
repair.  Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman is believed to be preparing
a letter to send to the House Agriculture Committee outlining the
Administration's views on the Smith bill.

NO LOGGING --  A recent poll of over 1000 Georgia residents by
Georgia State University reveals that over 72% of respondents oppose
commercial logging in Georgia's national forests.  Only 19.6% said
they support commercial logging.  73.5% said that the two national
forests in the state should be maintained as natural environments and
"used only to provide recreation, wildlife habitat and other ecological
services, similar to National Parks," while 21.4% said they "should
also be used to produce timber, minerals and other products for
economic development."  The telephone survey was conducted in late

SLOW BURNS -- Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) has asked for an
extension of the public comment period on the proposed partial
moratorium on roadbuilding in National Forest roadless areas.  In a
letter to Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, Burns asks for a "series
of public meetings in the states most affected by this moratorium," as
well as the comment period extension.  The deadline for comments is
February 27.

Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

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

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