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Re: E-M:/ Interior Approps and Riders Update - Sept. 22



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Enviro-Mich message from "Frank Ambrose" <fambrose@bloomington.in.us>
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I have to second this request. It is vitally important that calls are made
to your reps and senators. I have posted a few of the riders below that have
to do with our National Forests. What the industry goofs want is a really a
big threat to our forests. Remember, Michigan is a big state for Al Gore,
and if his party affiliates in COngress inform that they are really hearing
it, then there may be some good results.

Frank


Numerous Anti-Environmental Riders Threaten to Increase Logging, Harm
Endangered Species, and Undermine Public Involvement

The House Interior Appropriations bill has not been completed, but at
this point we can already say that the bill is a serious threat to the
environment and the public process for making land management decisions.


The conferees have agreed to the Domenici fuels reduction amendment
that could lead to expedited environmental review for all fuels
reduction and salvage timber sales in the future.  The Domenici
amendment now applies to all National Forest and BLM lands, not just to
the still undefined urban/wildland interface zone.

The Conference Committee approved funding for both the Domenici
Amendment and the Administration's $1.6 billion emergency fire request
-- nearly $1.9 billion responded to this year's wildfires.  Funds will
be spent to pay for suppression costs from this year's fires,
rehabilitation of burned areas, educating homeowners, preparedness
activities and fuels reduction projects.  There are no environmental
standards or safeguards attached to these projects to prevent commercial
logging or to ensure real restoration.

The conferee's agreed to an amendment offered by Sens. Larry Craig (R-
ID) and Conrad Burns (R-MT) which would expedite the environmental
review and public involvement process required by the NEPA (National
Environmental Policy Act).  Only 90 days would be allowed to prepare all
of the documentation, conduct scoping and accept public comment for
fuels reduction projects or salvage timber sales.  This would not allow
enough time for good analysis or adequate public involvement.  The
expedited procedures could apply to all fuels management projects and
all salvage timber sales.

If enacted, the Craig/Burns amendment would be the first time that
Congress has imposed expedited procedures on national forest management
activities since the "Salvage Rider" of 1995.

Other Harmful Riders Still in the Bill
We have heard that the timber targets rider mandating the agency offer
3.6 billion board feet of timber for sale next year has been dropped
from the bill, but until the Conference Committee is completed, it could
still reappear.   A rider to overturn the Park Service snowmobile ban
was discussed but then withdrawn.

Other riders have been approved in the Conference including the
stewardship contracting rider, extension of the fee-demo program, the
White Mountains roadless exemption, and Sen. Ben Campbell's rider to
delay the White River National Forest Plan.  The Columbia Basin rider
has been modified to only require a report concerning how the Plan
relates to fire management.   Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) also added a
rider that would block consideration of dismantling dams on the Snake
and Columbia Rivers to restore salmon.

The Conference Committee is expected to resume next week.  We need to
make sure the Conferees and the Administration here from us about these
latest attacks on our forests and environmental laws.

Please contact George Frampton, Council on Environmental Quality,
202/456-6224, fax 202/456-2710 and the following conferees:

Phone Fax
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 202/224-2621 202/224-0238
Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-WI) 202/224-5653 202/224-9787
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202/224-4242
Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) 202/224-6121 202/224-4293
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 202/224-3542 202/224-7327
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) 202/224-2551 202/224-1193
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202/224-3841 202/228-3954
Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH) 202/225-3081 202/225-9069
Rep. David Obey (D-WI) 202/225-3365 202/225-3240
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) 202/225-5916 202/226-1176
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) 202/-25-4376 202/225-0017
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) 202/225-6335 202/226-0774

and urge them to:

1) Oppose all anti-environmental riders in the bill.

2) Oppose the Domenici amendment because the expedited NEPA requirement
would weaken this important environmental law and limit public
involvement and sound science in decisionmaking.  Also oppose the
amendment because it includes post-fire salvage logging which increases
fire risk and intensity.  Support adding environmental safeguards to the
fuels reduction funding to ensure that there is no commercial logging,
no old growth logging or logging of large trees, no entry into roadless
areas and that all funds will be directed to the urban/wildlands
interface.  In addition, funds should also be primarily used to pay for
homeowner education programs and fire preparedness activities.

3) Oppose the timber targets rider that requires the Forest Service to
offer 3.6 billion board feet of timber next year.  This would double
current logging levels.

4) Oppose the stewardship contracting rider that permits the Forest
Service to trade National Forest trees to pay for contracted services.

5) Oppose the fee-demo, White Mountain roadless exemption, White River
Forest Plan and the Gorton anti-salmon riders.







----- Original Message -----
From: <anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org>
To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: September 23, 2000 12:40 PM
Subject: E-M:/ Interior Approps and Riders Update - Sept. 22


> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>  Enviro-Mich folks:
>
>  Once again the Congress is using Riders on the Interior Appropriations
bill to
>  muck around with environmental protections.  While most of these are
directed
>  at other areas of the country, some, such as proposals to limit public
input to
>  forest management activities, clearly affect us as well.
>
>  President Clinton has vowed to veto any spending bills which harm the
>  environment, saying this week "Once again, too many of these bills are
being
>  watered down with riders aimed at weakening public health protections,
blocking
>  common-sense efforts to combat climate change, and surrendering public
lands to
>  private interests." But in the typical cynical play that occurs at this
late
>  moment in the Congressional calendar, the Republicans leading the charge
on
>  these riders have sweetened the pot for the President by putting in a
large
>  amount of money for his proposed Lands Legacy programs.
>
>  YOUR HELP IS NEEDED -- Please contact Michigan Congressional
>  Representatives with a simple message - VOTE NO ON ALL APPROPRIATIONS
>  BILLS WITH ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL RIDERS.   You can reach all Congressional
>  offices through the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121
>
>  Defenders of Wildlife has agreed to compile the full list of
>  anti-environmental riders that have been attached to the various
>  Appropriations bills this year.  Please see their website at
>  www.defenders.org for the full list and detailed description of the
riders
>  in play.
>
>
>      (Information taken from Sierra Club alerts)
>
>      Anne Woiwode
>
>
> ==============================================================
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> and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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