RECORD LOSSES FOR TIMBER PROGRAM PROMPT CALLS FOR REDIRECTING FORES

Western Ancient Forest Campaign wafcdc at igc.apc.org
Wed Jun 10 20:11:34 EST 1998


From: Steve Holmer <wafcdc at igc.apc.org>
Subject: RECORD LOSSES FOR TIMBER PROGRAM PROMPT CALLS FOR REDIRECTING  FOREST SERVICE BUDGET 


For Immediate Release: June 10, 1998

Contact:  Steve Holmer, Western Ancient Forest Campaign,
202/879-4280   

RECORD LOSSES FOR TIMBER PROGRAM
PROMPT CALLS FOR REDIRECTING FOREST
SERVICE BUDGET 


     Continuing losses to the federal timber sale program should
prompt Congress and the Clinton Administration to redirect the massive
subsidies for the timber industry to environmentally beneficial
restoration, says the Western Ancient Forest Campaign.

     The U.S. Forest Service announced today that the timber sale
program lost $88 million in 1997.  "In 1996 we spent $790 million to
log our National Forests and not one dime was returned the federal
treasury," said Randi Spivak, President of Western Ancient Forest
Campaign.  "The losses for 1997 are even greater.  It is time to end
this destructive subsidy and to begin to repair the damage caused by
decades of overcutting."  

     "The National Forests are not a profitable or sensible place to
log.  Most of the timber has already been cut, and much of what is left
is in steep, inaccessible terrain," said Spivak.  "These areas are worth
much more to the American people for the clean water, fish and
wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and spiritual renewal they
offer us."

     Rep. Elizabeth Furse (D-OR) has announced she will offer an
amendment to reduce subsidies for logging and roadbuilding on the
National Forests by $144 million and redirect $44 million to road
maintenance.  "The Furse amendment is an important step in the right
direction because it will end subsidies for logging roads and begin to
address the $440 million backlog in road maintenance on the National
Forests," said Jessica Hamilton, WAFC's Northwest Organizer.  "We
cannot hope to restore salmon runs in the Northwest unless we stop
degrading streams with crumbling logging roads that are never
maintained."  The Forest Service currently estimates that only 40% of
the 373,000 mile National Forest road system receives any
maintenance.    

     "Right now, over one-third of the Forest Service budget goes to
logging but only 11% goes to wildlife, watershed restoration and
recreation combined," said Spivak.  "It is time the agency's budget
reflected the new direction Chief Dombeck has announced to protect
water quality and to meet the growing demand for recreation on the
National Forests."

                           # 30 #       
     

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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