CEI vs Sierra Club

Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:15:11 -0500

I forwarded the message from the Sierra Club, re: Timber operations
on federal lands, to Jonathan Adler of the Competitive Enterprise
Institute. Below you will see Mr. Adler's response. Adler's e-mail
address is jadler@cei.org

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From: Jonathan Adler
Subject: Re: Briefing Book
Date: 09/18
Time: 08:57 AM

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> Dear Mr. Adler:
> Please see the attached article below (excuse the waste of bytes
> you already have the information).

I've seen all these arguments before, and most of them miss the boat.

Some key facts:

- Timber sales on federal lands are conducted by a bidding process,
prices are typically comparable to those paid on state or private
- The roads constructed for timber sales are built to standards far
higher than logging requires. In fact, most timber roads built with
tax dollars are one-step away from highway standards. This costs
tremendous amounts of money, but does not provide the timber
with additional economic benefits. Rather, it allows the Forest
to avoid returning more money to the treasury and subsidizes
Paved forest roads are of primary benefit to bikers and other
recreationists, not loggers.
- According to the Forest Service's own numbers, the disparity
economic benefits provided and user fee revenues is greatest in the
of recreation, and virtually no-existent in the case of timber. ( I
believe this is covered in the recreation subsidy item on our page.)
- The Sierra Club's answer to all this is a zero-cut policy on all
forest service lands. This would be an economic AND environmental
disaster. As research by Donald Leal at PERC, and others have shown,

many of these lands can be used productively for timber without
compromising environmental quality and without costing the taxpayer
dime. The problem is forest service inefficiency and bureaucratic

For more on this I would refer you to Different Drummer, put out by
forest economist Randall O'Toole, and Don Leal of the Political
Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, MT. I believe both have web sites.




Jonathan H. Adler Director of Environmental Studies Competitive Enterprise Institute 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1250 Washington, D.C. 20036 202/331-1010 - fax: 202/785-1815 e-mail: jadler@cei.org http://www.cei.org

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