To: All Feb-02-94 22:27:08 Subject: WAFC Report 01/31/94 Date: 02 Feb 94 15:58 PST Congres

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From: David Dickerson To: All Feb-02-94 22:27:08 Subject: WAFC Report 01/31/94 From: (David Dickerson) Date: 02 Feb 94 15:58 PST Message-ID: <1666102108@cdp> Newsgroups: fido.econet Congress Returns to Health Care and Crime Bills On Tuesday, January 25, the 103rd Congress reconvened after its longest recess to date. The Members returned to hear President Clinton challenge them with his high-priority effort to pass a national health care bill, and to meet the specter of death in the streets by enacting a crime bill. Though the President's State of the Union address included one reference to the environment, it's clear that the White House is focused on domestic social issues, and is buoyed by a resurgent national economy. The Congress, especially the House, is in a bit of a bind. It will have to produce something in response to the President's demands and the expectations of a public that has been fed health care headlines for the past six months. Whatever the Congress enacts, in any arena, will be critically examined by a cynical electorate in this year's Congressional elections. The prospects for the passage by Congress of any ancient forest legislation, whatever its form or content, is not good at this time. The same goes for any sufficiency riders on appropriations bills. This Congress has enough contentious issues to deal with in an election year; the entreaties of either the timber industry or the environmental community are likely to fall on deaf ears, particularly now that the economy of the Northwest is recovering, and companies like Boeing have laid off more workers in one swipe than would be affected by any ancient forest bill. There are a number of House and Senate seats in the Northwest that will be close races for incumbents and Democratic candidates. The White House, and senior Democrats in the Northwest Delegation, may choose to think twice before saddling people like Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Mike Kreidler (D-WA), Dan Hamburg (D-CA), Elizabeth Furse (D-OR), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) with a vote on suspending national environmental laws in trade for highly improbable support from the timber industry or the Carpenters' Union. House To Consider Forest Service Reform The House Natural Resources Committee, and its National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee will hold a joint two-day hearing on Forest Service Reform on February 1 and February 3, 1994. These hearings, presided over either by Chairman George Miller (D-CA) or Chairman Bruce Vento (D-MN), will focus on problems with the agency, and its management of public lands, and solutions to these problems. On February 1, witnesses representing a variety of viewpoints will testify before the Committees. Among those making presentations are: Barry Rosenberg, Inland Empire Public Lands Council; Roy Keene, Public Forestry Foundation; Don Waller, University of Wisconsin, Randal O'Toole, Cascade Holistic Economic Consultants; Jeff Ruch, Government Accountability Project; Fran Hunt, National Wildlife Federation; and representatives from AFSEEE, The Wilderness Society, the Government Accounting Office, Congressional Research Office and the Office of Technology Assessment. On February 3, the Committee will host Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas and Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Jim Lyons. The Committee staff have invited testimony from the public, and you can address your testimony, directed towards solutions for existing problems in the agency, to: Jim Bradley Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Natural Resources Committee U.S. House of Representatives 812 O'Neill House Office Building Washington, D.C., 20515 Roadless Area Vote Makes LCV Scorecard The League of Conservation Voters' 1994 National Environmental Scorecard, a well-respected, annual evaluation of key votes in the Senate and House of Representatives, will use WAFC's Porter Amendment on the FY '94 Interior Appropriations Bill as a measure of individual Representative's support and understanding of Roadless Area protection. The Porter Amendment, conceived by WAFC Senior Advisor Jim Jontz, and introduced on the floor of the House by Rep. John Porter (R-IL), was intended to cut funding for the Forest Service by $18 million to limit timber sales and road construction on roadless areas on National Forests. The Porter Amendment received strong support from the environmental community, but ultimately was defeated 164-262 on July 14, 1993 by a coalition of Northwest Members and Republicans who argued that roads and timber sales were necessary to manage these public forests, and that the restriction of these funds would cause extensive cuts in budgets for biologists and other wildlife and fisheries support. The League of Conservation Voters, a 24-year old, non-partisan, political arm of the environmental community, holds elected officials accountable for their conservation records by publishing the National Environmental Scorecard every year, by evaluations of Presidential environmental initiatives, and by supporting candidates for federal office who will protect the nation's environment. The inclusion of the Porter Amendment in their annual scorecard is a significant signal to the Congress that Roadless Area protection is among the highest priorities of the environmental community, now and forever. Appropriations Hearings Scheduled Though the President's budget for FY '1995 has yet to be delivered to Congress, the Interior Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee has scheduled hearings for "Outside Witnesses" on the Administration's Natural Resources Program for March 1-2, in Washington, D.C. These hearings are the best, and seemingly only, opportunity for grassroots forest activists to appear before Members of the Appropriations Committee to speak in favor of forest protection, against timber ASQs and to request support for special programs on their National Forests or BLM areas. I anticipate that this year's appropriations bill will include a request for watershed restoration for the Pacific Northwest, as well as further reductions in the timber roads budget. Unfortunately, we have heard that the new Administration has revised the format for its budget request, and has eliminated line-item requests for road-construction, timber-sale support, and other specific targets that the environmental community has opposed in the past. WAFC intends to continue its effort to protect Roadless Areas across the nation, and will be requesting your help on this issue once we have seen the President's budget request. We will also work with grassroots and national groups to eliminate timber targets for the Tongass NF and disable the Forest Service's inappropriate use of trust funds like the Knutson-Vandenberg and timber salvage sale funds to support the agency's bureaucracy, below-cost sales and over-cutting. To this end, WAFC has scheduled a grassroots forest activists week for February 26- March 4. Watch for more information on this annual WAFC initiative. WAFC Distributes Grants to NW Forest Groups WAFC is excited to announce that in December, 1993 we received a generous $15,000 donation from Washington State businessman and environmentalist Tom Campion, President of Zumiez, Inc., to support work on ancient forests, forestry and public land use issues by local conservation groups. WAFC, with input from Tom, identified eleven groups, nine in Washington State and two in Oregon, to be recipients of these grants. Groups receiving these grants include Quilcene Ancient Forest Coalition, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, Save Chelan Alliance, North Central Washington Audubon Society, Coast Range Association, Central Oregon Forest Issues Committee, Black Hills Audubon Society, Pilchuck Audubon Society, Okanogan Highlands Alliance, Kettle Range Conservation Group and Pend Oreille Environmental Team. Jim Owens made an additional contribution to the two groups who monitor activities on the Entiat Ranger District of the Wenatchee National Forest -- Save Chelan Alliance and North Central Washington Audubon Society. WAFC would like to thank Tom Campion for his donation and his excellent work over the years as a dedicated ancient forest activist. And WAFC would also like to thank the groups who received these grants for their dedication in helping to protect our forest ecosystems. Tom's letter, which he wrote to each group receiving a grant, says it all: Grassroots organizations...have fought long and hard for ancient forest protection. Relying upon the efforts of volunteers, you are the backbone of the many accomplishments we have made throughout the years in protecting the natural resources of the Northwest. Bonnie Phillips-Howard Spreading CLEARCUT Across the Political Landscape On January 29, over ninety forest activists from all regions of the country will be descending on Capitol Hill to deliver copies of the book CLEARCUT, The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry to Members of Congress and the Administration. The book, published by Sierra Club Books and Earth Island Press, is a project of the Foundation for Deep Ecology. The Sierra Club was contracted to coordinate the distribution on the Hill. A reception on Tuesday, February 1, hosted by the Foundation and the Sierra Club will feature Jack Ward Thomas, Chief of the Forest Service. Grassroots activists are encouraged to request a copy of the book from Rainforest Action Network 415/398-4404 and to use the book in meetings with local and national policy makers and in public education and outreach efforts. If you have not seen the book, you will be impressed with the quality and power of the images and essays. On Wednesday, February 2, following the distribution on the Hill, WAFC and the new Patagonia retail store in Georgetown are hosting an exhibit of photographs from the book and a reception for participants in the book drop, Congressional staffers and the general public. CLEARCUT contributor Dave Foreman of The Wildlands Project and photographers Elizabeth Feryl and Daniel Dancer will discuss their contributions to the book. The new Patagonia retail space features 2,500 square feet of office space that Patagonia will be making available to non-profit environmental groups on a rotating basis. For information on the book, the above mentioned events or the office space, call Jay Lee at WAFC 202/939-3324. Jay Clayoquot Crusade Profiled Across the Continent The syndicated television news program, The Crusaders, this week will feature an expose of the calamitous decision of the British Columbian Government to allow continued clearcutting in the old-growth rainforests of Clayoquot Sound. The program profiles Clayoquot Sound, B.C. forest practices and the promise of a solution to the conflict over forest use and forest abuse: Ecoforestry. In the aftermath of last spring's controversial land use decision, thousands of people journeyed to Clayoquot Sound, a pristine area on the west coast of Vancouver Island, to show their support for the protection of the forests. Over 800 people were arrested for peacefully resisting a court order permitting MacMillan Bloedel, the province's largest logging company, to continue logging in the largest intact wilderness area on the island. The Crusaders airs on 211 stations across the United States and reaches audiences in neighboring Canada and Mexico. The program airs first in the 7:00 p.m. time slot on Saturday, January 29, but has other scheduled air times in different centers. Viewers should check local listings for the date, time and channel for the program in the respective communities. The Friends of Clayoquot Sound have been campaigning for 15 years to protect this magnificent area and can reached at 604/725-4218 for more information. Norleen Lillico - Friends of Clayoquot Sound Headwaters' Annual Conference About To Roll Headwaters hosts its Third Annual West Coast Ancient Forest Activists Conference Feb. 3-6 at Southern Oregon State College in Ashland. This year's focus is on Fish, Wildlife, and Citizen interactions with government agencies and society-at-large in the new era of "ecosystem management." Citizens, scientists, and agency personnel will discuss "Watershed Analysis," a crucial new federal agency decision-making process. Techniques for intensive forest and stream monitoring will be the subject of a Saturday afternoon workshop and field trip. Some outside funding allows Headwaters to offer this conference for only $30 per person (includes three breakfasts and two lunches) to assure broad attendance. Two quarter-hours of academic credit for the conference is available through Chant Thomas, an instructor with Antioch University. For more information, call Headwaters at 503/482-4459. Chant Thomas - Headwaters USFS to Revoke 50-Year Timber Contract in the Tongass On January 13th, the Clinton Administration gave 30-days notice of its intention to revoke an ongoing, 50-year timber sale contract in Southeast Alaska's Tongass National Forest. The contract belongs to Alaska Pulp Corporation which shut its pulp mill last fall -- breaking its contract -- but still continues to log. This is an important change of policy that will have a positive impact on the threatened Alaska rainforest, but this decision has not yet been finalized. Logging by Alaska Pulp Corp. and Ketchikan Pulp Co. (which also enjoys a 50-year contract) devastates tens of thousands acres each year. Unsustainable cutting in the Tongass has diminished wildlife populations, and degraded water quality in streams and rivers, harming the regional fishing and tourist economies and threatening Alaska Natives and other rural residents who live off the land. These contracts are also heavily subsidized, making the Tongass the nation's number one money-loser in 1992. Alaska Pulp is lobbying hard to keep its lucrative contract going, promising to build a new mill in the future in order to keep logging now. The timber barons will exert pressure on the administration, and can be expected to seek legislative riders that suspend implementation of environmental laws on the Tongass. Please write a letter or send a fax to Vice President Al Gore, and send a copy to Jim Lyons, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture by February 10th. Tell them to: (1) Applaud the administration's decision and make sure they revoke Alaska Pulp Corporation's contract for breach; (2) Refuse to accept any other terms, such as another mill; and (3) Terminate Ketchikan Pulp Corporation's 50-year contract under the Forest Service's legal authority to protect the forest from environmental damage by excessive logging. The Honorable Al Gore Jim Lyons Vice-President of the United States Assistant Sec. For Environment Old Executive Office Bldg. Rm. 274 U.S. Department of Agriculture Washington, D.C. 20501 Room 217 E FAX: 202/456-2710 Washington, D.C. 20250 FAX: 202/720-4732 If you are from Montana or Washington, please write Senators Patty Murray (D- WA) or Max Baucus (D-MT) and ask them to oppose any Congressional riders that would suspend environmental laws governing the Tongass Forest. Steve Holmer Worldwatch Recommends An End to Subsidized Logging A new report from the Worldwatch Institute by Alan Durning entitled Saving the Forests: What Will It Take recommends an end to government subsidies for logging in the United States and abroad. The report reveals the importance of applying environmental values to the economics of timber because forests are worth more to the world economy and society left alone than cut down. The current economic system does not incorporate important environmental values forests provide such as biodiversity, recreation, flood prevention, clean water supplies, and habitat for fish and wildlife. The reports cites as an example the price of old-growth Douglas fir which does not include losses suffered by the fishing industry due to damage caused by salmon habitat. Durning's thesis was recently articulated by Mollie Beattie, Director of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, who stated that she shares the concern about undervaluing natural resources: We'd like to see some consideration of environmental costs generally. We pay three times with some subsidies. One with money. One with wildlife. One with restoration costs. Copies of Saving the Forests are available from Worldwatch, 1776 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington D.C. 20036-1904, or FAX 202/296-7635. Steve Holmer Lawsuit Prevails to Save Threatened Fish Species in Southwest The Fish & Wildlife Service will designate 194 miles of river in southern Arizona and New Mexico as Critical Fish Habitat by February 1st for the Loach minnow and the Spikedace. This action is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Greater Gila Biodiversity Project (GGBP), which successfully argued that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) failed to designate critical habitat when these species were listed as threatened in 1986. Critical habitat areas are protected against grazing, logging, dam building, and mining. The designation is expected to curtail several timber sales and numerous grazing allotments on the Gila, Apache- Sitgreaves and Tonto National Forests. Its impact on the Central Arizona Project remains unclear. The lawsuit is part of the Desert Rivers Biodiversity Initiative co-sponsored by GGBP and the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, who have already formally notified the Bureau of Reclamation of their intent to sue the Bureau of Reclamation because the Central Arizona Project may push the Loach minnow, Spikedace and two other fish to extinction. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has also been put on notice of the groups' intent to sue for the agency's failure to act on their petition to upgrade the Loach minnow and Spikedace to endangered status. The USFWS was previously petitioned by the Project to list five other species as endangered resulting in 650 miles of river between Albuquerque and San Diego being proposed as critical habitat for the Southwestern willow Flycatcher. These suits were made necessary because of government agency inaction that allowed 90 percent of the region's riparian habitat to be lost; as a result, eleven native fish species have gone extinct, and another 54 of 102 native species are in decline. Contact the Greater Gila Biodiversity Project at 505/538-0961 for more information. Steve Holmer Lawhorn: Not Member Of WAFC Advisory Board Mr. Gene Lawhorn, who is active with the Labor Coalition for Environmental Responsibility, and who has been listed as a member of WAFC's Advisory Board, has requested that his name be removed from WAFC's Advisory Board roster. WAFC sincerely regrets any misunderstanding regarding Mr. Lawhorn's participation in the Advisory Board. +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ | The above story is cross-posted from EcoNet, a member network of | | the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). To retrieve | | EcoNet's on-line brochure, please send an empty e-mail message to | | -anw | +-------------------------------------------------------------------+


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