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E-M:/ Interior Bill Delayed - Call-In Day Monday (fwd)



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Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <fambrose@bloomington.in.us>
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Please call Senators Levin and Abraham's offices on Monday. This cut may
stop some timbering in MI. One sale on each forest would be a great thing!

Abraham has been doing some better things lately, and your call could help
him make the right decision!

The Number 202-224-3121

Frank AMbrose
American Lands Alliance
812-337-1631

	The Senate is now expected to begin consideration of the Interior
Appropriations bill next week.  There will be a budget amendment to
redirect timber subsidies to restoration programs and several amendments
to strike riders harmful to the environment. Please join in a nationwide
call-in day Monday and contact your Senators at 202/224-3121 in support
of these amendments:  

The Bryan/Fitzgerald Amendment

This bipartisan amendment sponsored by Sens. Richard Bryan (D-NV) and 
Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) would reduce the subsidy for logging road
construction and timber sales management in the National Forests by
$33.6 million and direct the savings to road maintenance ($11 million),
fish and wildlife habitat management ($9 million), and debt retirement
($13 million).  The Senate Appropriations committee increased the Forest
Service timber request by $32 million and by $1.6 million for timber
roads while cutting funds for fish and wildlife programs and road
maintenance.  

The Forest Service estimates that the current backlog for road
maintenance on the National Forests is $8 billion.  Each year only 18%
of the 433,000 mile road system is properly maintained, leading to
erosion and diminished water quality, road failures and landslides.  The
Bryan/Fitzgerald Amendment will provide an additional $11.3 million for
road maintenance on the National Forests.

The Robb/Cleland Amendment to Strike Section 329

Sec. 329 of the Interior Appropriations bill that would overturn the
Forest Service's own requirements to monitor certain wildlife
populations.  Accurate information about wildlife populations and
habitat is essential to making sound land management decisions.  Without
this information, land managers can't predict what impact their
decisions may have on threatened or endangered species or the larger
ecosystems of which they are a part.  

Sec. 329 would also undermine implementation of the Northwest Forest
Plan.  Under the Forest Plan the agency is required to survey for
approximately 500 old growth dependent species that were not adequately
protected.  The Plan intended that timber sales would be adjusted when
these rare old growth species are discovered in the path of proposed
logging. 

The Durbin Grazing Amendment

Sec. 117 would require the BLM to transfer existing grazing permits and
to renew existing permits under the same terms and conditions contained
in the old permits  even when the terms and conditions do not comply
with applicable environmental laws.  The automatic renewals would remain
in effect indefinitely.  

The Durbin amendment would ensure the application of all environmental
laws with respect to renewal of grazing permits and provide an
additional $1 million toward permit renewal efforts.  The amendment will
also extend the life of permits which recently have expired until the
end of FY 2001 to allow the agency to complete the permitting process.


The Murray/Durbin Mining Amendment to Strike Sec. 336

Sec. 336 would weaken the 1872 Mining Law to allow certain mining
operations to dump more toxic mining wastes on federal public land.  The
1872 mining law states that for every 20-acre mineral claim, mining
companies are allowed one, and only one, 5-acre site for the processing
or dumping of mine wastes. Sec. 336 lets mines that have already been
approved and all grandfathered "patent" applications to simply ignore
that portion of the law, and to use an unlimited amount of federal
public land as a waste dump.


Boxer Oil Royalty Amendment to Strike Sec. 342

Sec. 342 allows the oil industry to continue underpaying royalties and
will delay for the forth time the implementation of an oil valuation
rule by the Minerals Management Service (MMS).  The MMS' rule would
force the largest oil companies to stop underpaying, by $66-$100 million
a year, the royalties they owe the American public for drilling on
public lands.  Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D- CA) amendment will strike Sec.
342.


The Durbin Amendment to Protect the Shawnee National Forest

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) will offer an amendment to prohibit all
timber sales on Illinois' Shawnee National Forest when the costs for
preparing the sale exceed the expected sale receipts.  This amendment
will help reduce logging subsidies on one National Forest.

	
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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@americanlands.org
http://www.americanlands.org


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