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E-M:/ FULL SENATE VOTE ON TIMBER MANDATES EXPECTED AFTER MEMORIAL DAY



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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As you prepare for the first weekend of summer, and many of you head out
into the woods to enjoy the gifts they bring, please take a few moments to
contact your State Senator and ask him or her to PROTECT MICHIGAN STATE
FORESTS FROM THE TIMBER MANDATE!

SENATE LIKELY TO VOTE ON TIMBER MANDATE IN DNR BUDGET BILL IMMEDIATELY AFTER
MEMORIAL DAY

ONLY HAVE A MINUTE? CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR AND TELL HIM OR HER TO
SUPPORT RESTORING THE HOUSE PASSED LANGUAGE ON TIMBER MANDATES TO THE DNR
BUDGET BILL, HB 4259.  Protect Michigan's State Forests from the overcutting
being mandated in the Senate Appropriations Committee passed version!!
Senate contact info is available at:  http://www.senate.state.mi.us/  Bot
the House version and the Senate version are at the end of this message --
make sure to ask that both Section 901 and 902 are replaced.

BACKGROUND: For the past four years, Michigan has gained the troubling
distinction of being the only state in the nation in which the Legislature
has prescribed a floor for preparation of timber for cutting on our State
Forests.  For three of those years, the floor(855,000 cords or 69,000 acres
at 12.5 to 13 cords per acre) has been placed at or above sustainability
levels, according to the DNR.  Pressure has been felt among the managers of
State Forests, both foresters and wildlife biologists, to increase timber
production, even though the Chief of the Forest Management Division last
year, Ed Hagan, made it clear that the mandate was unreachable, and
therefore the agency wouldn't try to meet it.

In fact, in the last fiscal year (FY 2000), because so many DNR staff were
detailed to the western US to fight forest fires, the number of acres
"treated" dropped 11,000 below DNR's goal, and 20,000 acres below the
mandate.  Hagan was removed as Chief of the FMD earlier this year, and most
of the Division was merged into the Forests, Fire and Minerals Division,
combining with parts of the old Land and Minerals Division.  What effect
this will have on the DNR's posture on the timber mandate is not clear, but
restoration of the much improved language passed by the House would
alleviate many concerns.

UPDATE ON SENATE ACTION SO FAR: The Senate Appropriations Committee has
passed language in the DNR Budget Bill, HB 4259, that removes the
improvements made by the House in the language regarding Timber Mandates.
The House language, while not perfect, had set the mandated levels for
timber sale preparation at approximately the level that the Michigan DNR
says it is planning to allow to be logged in this coming Fiscal Year (+/-
63,000 acres at 12.5 to 13 cords per acre); mandates consideration of
effects on wildlife and recreation; and encourages the completion of the
decade long old growth protection process.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources, chaired by Sen.
George McManus, decided that they would NOT live with the compromise
language from the House, instead insisting on language that in some ways may
be worse than the original language from the Governor's office.  The number
is back up to the devastating level from previous years (+/- 69,000 acres at
12.5 to 13 cords per acre) and weird language has been added that raises
concerns about whether the DNR might be forced to guarantee a certain level
of revenue will be available off the State Forests in order to get all of
their funds for forest management.

Whether the motive for this change is spite, based on previous year's
efforts to convince Mr. McManus to remove the mandate, or if this is the
result of the Michigan Association of Timbermen deciding that the new
Division may actually give them what they want, there is no question that
this language should be removed and the House passed version should be
restored. HB 4259 as amended was passed by the Senate Appropriations
Committee on Wednesday.  Now it will go to the full Senate.

ACTION: Please contact your State Senator AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and ask him or
her to RESTORE THE HOUSE PASSED LANGUAGE FOR THE TIMBER MANDATE TO THE DNR
BUDGET BILL, HB 4259.

Senators contact information, and info on finding out who your Senator is
can be found at http://www.senate.state.mi.us/



FOR COMPARISON: Actual language on timber mandate as it shows up in HB 4259
first as introduced, then as modified by the House, then as modified in
Senate Committee:

Executive Budget (as introduced)

  "Sec. 701. Of the funds appropriated in part 1, the department shall
prescribe appropriate treatment on 69,000 acres, plus or minus 10% at the
current average rate of 12.5 to 13 cords per acre provided that the
department shall take into consideration silvicultural analysis and report
annually to the legislature on plans and efforts to address factors limiting
management.

The House passed version says this:

   Sec. 902. (1) Of the funds appropriated in part 1, the department shall
prescribe appropriate treatment on 63,000 acres,plus or minus 10%, at the
current average rate of 12.5 to 13 cords per acre provided that the
department shall take into consideration the impact of timber harvesting on
wildlife habitat and recreation uses.  In addition, the department shall
take into consideration silvicultural analysis and report annually to the
legislature on plans and efforts to address factors limiting management of
timber.
  (2) The department is encouraged to continue workgroup efforts to develop
an old growth forest stewardship strategy.


The version which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday:

"Sec 901. Of the funds appropriated in part 1, the department shall
prescribe appropriate treatment on 69,000 acres, plus or minus 10%, at the
current average rate of 12.5 to 13 cords per acre provided that the
department shall take into consideration the impact of timber harvesting on
wildlife habitat and recreation uses.  In addition, the department shall
take into consideration silvicultural analysis and report annually to the
legislature on plans and efforts to address factors limiting management of
timber.

"Sec 902 (1) Amounts appropriated in part 1 for timber marking shall not be
expended until the department has determined that forest resource revenue
available for expenditure in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002
exceeds $22,857,700.00.

"(2) The department shall make determinations and report quarterly to the
senate and house appropriations subcommittees on natural resources and the
senate and house fiscal agencies on the level of forest resource revenue
projected to be available for expenditure during the fiscal year ending
September 30, 2002.

"(3) If the condition in subsection (1) is met, the department may spend
forest resource revenue available in excess of $22,857,700.00 and that is
appropriated in part 1 for timber marking to employ up to an additional 20
full-time temporary employees to mark timber, pursuant to section 901."



Anne Woiwode, Sierra Club



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