Forest Focus - September 23, 1998

Western Ancient Forest Campaign wafcdc at
Wed Sep 23 17:39:19 EST 1998

From: American Lands <wafcdc at>

FOREST FOCUS, the bulletin of American Lands, September 23, 1998 
To reach us call (202)879-3188, fax (202)879-3189, or email
wafcdc at

MEGA-LEGISLATION:  It appears likely that the rest of this year s
congressional business will be transacted in one bill, said an editorial
by the Washington Post.  Both the House and the Senate have been
fiercely debating a number of bills and now there isn't time to vote on
them individually.  Most of this "mega-legislation" will be made up of
the 13 regular appropriations bills.  Issues being considered for
inclusion in the legislation are all the anti-environmental riders,
appropriations for the IMF, and the rewriting of the Endangered
Species Act.  "These giant bills tend to be a bad way to legislate.  The
items that go to make them up aren't debated on their individual merits. 
Unlike items instead are traded, one for the other, as if they were
comparable," says the Washington Post.  "And the fine print of the big
bills is always fertile ground for mischief."

GHOST ROADS:  Republicans in Congress want the Forest Service to
get rid of the 60,000 miles of unauthorized roads and pathways in
national forests before deconstructing any of the other 373,000 miles of
authorized roads in national forests, reports Associated Press.  The
Clinton Administration and environmentalists disagree with the proposal
saying that some of the authorized and federally maintained roads cause
far more environmental damage.  The Forest Service said it needs to
focus on the roads that are most damaging.  Forcing the Forest Service
to tackle ghost roads first "would drain funding from fixing roads that
are causing the most environmental degradation," says Robert Joslin,
deputy chief of the National Forest System. 

BEETLE INVASION:  The Asian long-horned beetle is causing an
international trade dispute with China due to the threat it causes to
American forests, reports the Economist. The beetle travels to the U.S.
on wooden crates used for shipping Chinese goods and bores deep into
hardwood trees, eventually killing them.  The only way to get rid of
the beetle is by cutting down all infested trees, chopping them in a
shredder, and burning all the chips.  The beetle has already invaded
areas in Chicago and New York.  Secretary of Agriculture, Dan
Glickman, has announced that Chinese exporters will soon have to treat
all wood-packing materials with heat or chemicals.  China believes
these actions will seriously hinder trade.  However, if the beetle makes
its way into American forests, the U.S. economy could be damaged by
an estimated $140 billion dollars.

HELICOPTER RIDER CRASHES:  A Senate rider opening federal
wilderness in Alaska to helicopter tourism ran into fierce opposition in
the House, reports the Anchorage Daily News.  The House voted 249-
161 to oppose the Senate provision.  The helicopter rider was added to
the transportation spending bill in an effort to include helicopters in the
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.  The act allows for
motorized vehicles in Alaskan Wilderness as long as they were in use
before 1980.  Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.) led the motion in the House
not to agree to the rider in conference.  "This rewrites 18 years of
national environmental policy," Sabo said.  "Allowing helicopters to
land in wilderness areas could fundamentally change the character of
parks in the state."

The Western Ancient Forest Campaign is now American Lands, reflecting our
work with citizens nationwide to protect America's wildlife and wild places.

Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands 
1025 Vermont Ave. NW  3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
202/879-3189 fax
wafcdc at

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