Salvage Timber Logging
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:20:31 -0500

I often speak about how in our quest for some specific goal we lose
sight of our main objective. For example working towards X% diversion of
trash by year Y often becomes an expensive and less and less popular project
that at times does more damage to the future of recycling than help......
The real reason we recycle and work toward a sustainable society has
more to do with preserving this planet in a habitable form, something that is
getting harder and harder when such things as described below happen.
Almost all environmental issues tie together if we stick with the big
picture! We ought to work together and help each other.
Write a letter - Save a Tree!

The following is from the Sierra Club Bulletin:


At an oversight hearing of the Senate Energy & Natural
Resources Committee held on August 1, Agriculture Secretary
Glickman and the Clinton Administration came under disparaging
attack for the recent directive affecting implementation of
the Clear-cut Rider. Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Craig
(R-ID) led the assault,charging that the Administration was
playing politics and pandering to an extreme environmental
organization that advocates ending commercial logging on
federal public lands -- the Sierra Club.

Senator Murkowski presented Secretary Glickman with three
"Olympic medals" because the Clinton Administration has had so
many changes of position on the Rider that "not all the
gymnasts in Atlanta have done as many flip-flops." Senator
Craig charged that Secretary Glickman was allowing "the
Clinton/Gore reelection campaign, or worse, the Sierra Club" to
make his decisions.

Secretary Glickman stated that the directive was within his
discretion to ensure that the "extraordinary provisions" of the
Rider are applied to "truly emergency" timber sales. He said
the directive is expected to affect only 167 timber sales --
less than 15% of sales under the Rider. He further testified
that the Forest Service would meet its goal of selling 4.5
billion board feet (bbf), + or - 25%, and that "we are not
canceling sales" and that "no sales have been canceled under
this situation."

Unfortunately, that's the problem. The recent report by the
Western Ancient Forest Campaign documents 266 of the worst
Rider sales, only 12 of which have been affected by the
directive. Moreover, there are many other sales which are
too far along in the process for the directive to apply that
should be canceled due to the egregious environmental problems
they will cause.

According to Glickman, in the year since the Rider became law,
the Forest Service has offered 2.9 bbf for sale as "salvage"
and plans to offer another 1 bbf by December 31. In addition,
1 bbf will also be offered before the end of the year to meet
the target for "green" timber. Yet, at the same time, market
conditions for timber are depressed, hindering the Forest
Service's effort to meet its targets. In fact, some (6% so
far) of the advertised Rider sales have received no bids at
all. Nevertheless, Secretary Glickman announced he has offered
timber contract holders an extension of their contracts for one
year that will enable them to wait until market conditions
improve before they log the sales.

Phone calls and/or letters to the White House are needed, BUT
MORE IMPORTANTLY you can help educate the public about what's
going on by writing letters to the editor or calling in on a
talk-radio show. Let other folks know what's going on in our
National Forests. While the Clinton Administration's recent
directive is a positive step, if it is fully implemented by the
Forest Service, many invaluable, ancient forests will be
irresponsibly destroyed unless many so-called "salvage" timber
sales are *canceled* by the Administration. When Congress
returns to DC in September, they should take prompt action to
end the lawless logging under the Clear-cut Rider.