House Interior Bill Increase Subsidies for Destructive Logging and

wafcdc at americanlands.org wafcdc at americanlands.org
Thu Jun 1 11:44:12 EST 2000


From: "wafcdc at americanlands.org" <wafcdc at americanlands.org>
Subject: House Interior Bill Increase Subsidies for Destructive Logging  and Roadbuilding on National Forests 

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2000

House Interior Bill Increase Subsidies for Destructive Logging and
Roadbuilding on National Forests

Last week the House Appropriations Committee approved the Interior
Appropriations bill, laden with increased logging subsidies and report
language that could open the door to more construction of logging roads on
the National Forests.  "The House bill has allocated $245 million for timber
sales, a $25 million increase above the Forest Service request," said Steve
Holmer, Campaign Coordinator for American Lands.  "Why is Congress proposing
more logging than even the Forest Service wants at the expense of fish and
wildlife and other more beneficial programs?"  The Committee reduced the
Forest Service request for Fish and Wildlife by $15 million.

"In their zest for more logging, the House Committee overestimated the
Forest Service request for timber sales management by $10 million," said
Holmer.  "The result is more subsidies for logging on the National Forests."
The Forest Service budget proposes several accounting changes to allocate
funds according to a projects primary purpose and to end the general
administration line-item, dividing overhead costs between the agency's
programs.  After these changes were included, the Forest Service requested
$220 million for timber sales management.  However, the Subcommittee used a
different allocation formula that claims the Forest Service has requested
$230 million for timber sales management, a $10 million increase. 

A report of the White House Council of Economic Advisors showed that the
Forest Service spent $234 million more than it collected in timber receipts
in 1995.  "Generally, the Forest Service subsidizes timber extraction from
public lands by collecting less timber sale revenues than it spends on
timber program costs," the report says.  Based on the data of a recent
General Accounting Office (GAO) report the timber sale program lost $1
billion from 1995-1997.  "For the sake of both the environment and the
taxpayer, it is time to end subsidized logging on the National Forests,"
said Holmer.  

The Committee report also includes potentially harmful roads language: "The
Committee directs that the road funding allocation is sufficient to provide
needed road support to maintain the timber sales and salvage program at the
fiscal year 2000 target level."  

"This rider allows the Forest Service to spend more than the $43 million for
timber road support included in the President's budget request," said
Holmer.   "This could allow a massive increase in logging subsidies at great
expense to the environment due to foregone road maintenance and
decommissioning."  

"The House Interior bill represents a huge step in the wrong direction,"
said Holmer.  "We hope to see an amendment offered on the House floor to cut
harmful logging subsidies to fund needed restoration."  The House Interior
bill is expected to be voted on in several weeks. 

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Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands 
726 7th Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202/547-9105
202/547-9213 fax
wafcdc at americanlands.org
http://www.americanlands.org






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