Logging Subsidy Vote in Senate September 8
Western Senators Hold Key to Forest Vote
In as little as eight days the Senate will vote on the Interior Appropriations bill. As of this writing, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Max Baucus (D-MT) have not made a commitment to support the Bryan/Fitzgerald amendment.
The Bryan/Fitzgerald amendment will be the first time an amendment is introduced that will reduce funds for subsidizing extraction/logging (the Timber Sales Management line item) and shift some of those funds to preserve fish, wildlife and to road maintenance and decommissioning. Passage of this amendment will send the message that priorities on our National Forests need to change by shifting away from corporate welfare and towards restoration.
The votes of Sen. Wyden, Murray and Baucus are critical to winning this amendment. Seven Republicans have expressed solid support for the Bryan/Fitzgerald amendment. This Republican support in combination with the base of support from Democratic Senators guarantees a close vote. But, without the support of Sens. Wyden, Murray and Baucus, we are not likely to win as these Senators will bring along other Democratic votes.
The Senate's first order of business on September 8 will be the Interior Appropriations bill. These Senators have a choice:
Should the funding for subsidized logging of our National Forests be at the level the Chief of the Forest Service recommended?In the Appropriations committee, Sen. Slade Gorton actually raised the level of corporate welfare funding above the request of the Chief of the Forest Service (and the Clinton administration) by $33 million. Gorton's plan included cuts in funding proposed for fish and wildlife protection and road maintenance and decommissioning, an important program to keep roads from contributing silt to streams.
Or, should funding for subsidized logging be $33 million more -- the level endorsed by Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA)?
Senator Bryan's amendment would return the level of funding for logging to the level the Chief recommended and add back $23 million to fish, wildlife and road decommissioning. The remainder of the money would go to budget savings.
Please call your Senators at 202/224-3121 and urge them to support the Bryan/Fitzgerald amendment and make fish and wildlife a greater priority on our National Forests.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 202/224-2621; fax 202-224-0238; staff contact: Doug Clapp
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) 202/224-5244; fax 202-228-2717; staff contact Sarah Bittleman
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) 202/224-2651; fax 202-228-3687; staff contact Brian Kuehl
For more information, contact American Lands at email@example.com
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