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PA resolution against logging roads in AK Tongass

Aug 19, 2004Environmentalists and fiscally conservative Republican Congressmen find themselves on the same side in opposing funds for new logging roads in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. In December 2003, the Administration exempted thousands of undisturbed rain forest that was included in a Clinton-era roadless rule. Environmentalists and tax payer advocates say the Forest Service is subsidizing the logging industry at a cost to the Federal government. In June the US House passed an amendment that would bar Federal funding for new logging roads in the Tongass. The Senate has yet to act.

In Pennsylvania, a resolution has been introduced urging the suspension, for one year, of Federal dollars to subsidize the building of new logging roads in the Tongass. The resolution points out that the market for lumber from the Tongass is so limited that Congress has earmarked $5 million just to encourage timber sales. The Keystone State resolution also says Taxpayers for Common Sense has estimated that the Tongass timber program loses $30 million a year due to uncompetitive bidding practices and vastly undervalued timber sales.

The Pennsylvania resolution is below.
_______________________________________________________
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

HOUSE RESOLUTION
No. 832 Session of 2004

INTRODUCED BY WOJNAROSKI, TIGUE, GOODMAN, PALLONE, FABRIZIO,
KOTIK, PISTELLA, STABACK, YOUNGBLOOD, JOSEPHS, LEVDANSKY,
FREEMAN, REICHLEY, HESS AND GERGELY, JULY 29, 2004

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY,
JULY 29, 2004

A RESOLUTION

1 Memorializing the Congress of the United States to support the
2 suspension for one year of the use of Federal dollars to
3 build new logging roads in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

4 WHEREAS, Subsidized logging of the national forests is one of
5 the more outrageous ripoffs of the American taxpayer; and
6 WHEREAS, According to Taxpayers for Common Sense , from 1998
7 through 2002 the Federal Government paid almost $140 million to
8 the timber industry for construction of logging roads; and
9 WHEREAS, During that period the 16.8-million-acre Tongass
10 National Forest in Alaska, the nation's largest national forest,
11 received $24.5 million in taxpayer subsidies; and
12 WHEREAS, Taxpayers for Common Sense has estimated that the
13 Tongass timber program loses $30 million a year due to
14 uncompetitive bidding practices and vastly undervalued timber
15 sales; and
16 WHEREAS, The Southeastern Alaska Conservation Council has
17 estimated that in 2002 United States taxpayers spent $170,000,



1 four times the average household income that year, for every
2 direct timber job created by logging Tongass National Forest;
3 and
4 WHEREAS, Only 4% of the nation's wood fiber is harvested from
5 national forests; and
6 WHEREAS, The market for logs from Tongass National Forest has
7 been so limited that the Congress has earmarked $5 million for
8 this fiscal year to encourage timber sales; and
9 WHEREAS, In December 2003 the Administration removed
10 protection from 9 million acres of roadless areas in Tongass
11 National Forest, setting the stage for taxpayer-funded
12 construction of more than 1,000 miles of new roads and the
13 clear-cutting of 300,000 acres of old-growth forest; and
14 WHEREAS, The United States House of Representatives is
15 launching an effort to delay this environmentally destructive
16 and financially indefensible action; and
17 WHEREAS, The 5,000 miles of existing roads in Tongass
18 National Forest which access at least 5 billion board feet of
19 timber would facilitate logging while the Congress suspends for
20 one year the use of Federal dollars to build new logging roads;
21 therefore be it
22 RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the
23 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania memorialize the Congress to support
24 the suspension for one year of the use of Federal dollars to
25 build new logging roads in Alaska's Tongass National Forest; and
26 be it further
27 RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to
28 the presiding officers of each house of Congress and to each
29 member of Congress from Pennsylvania.




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