STATEMENT OF SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN
On the Quincy Library Group Legislation
October 15, 1998
"I am very pleased that the Quincy Library Group legislation has been included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill. This legislation launches a significantly worthy pilot project that is real victory for local consensus decision making. It proves that even some of the most intractable environmental issues can be resolved if people work together toward a common goal.
"This bill embodies the consensus proposal of the Quincy Library Group, a local coalition of environmentalists, timber industry representatives, and local elected officials in Northern California, who came together to resolve their long-standing conflicts over timber management on the national forest lands in their area.
"The bill will reduce the threat of forest fires, provide for sustainable harvest of forest resources, and protect environmentally sensitive lands. This legislation explicitly requires the Quincy Library Group pilot project to comply with all environmental laws. For these reasons, it is strongly supported by local environmentalists, labor unions, elected officials, the timber industry, and 27 California counties.
"The House approved the Quincy Library Group bill by a vote of 429 to one last year. The Senate Energy Committee reported the bill last October. The bill has been the subject of Congressional hearings and the focus of nationwide public discussion. This important bill has been awaiting passage for more than a year, and I am pleased to know that the Quincy Library Group's vision will finally become a reality. I will ask my California staff to work closely with the U.S. Forest Service to maintain close oversight over the project.
"I would like to thank all of the members of the Quincy Library Group, who have worked so hard over the past five years. In particular, my thanks go to environmental attorney Michael Jackson, environmental activist Linda Blum, former Plumas County Supervisor Bill Coates, and Sierra Pacific Industries forester Tom Nelson. I also would like to thank Senators Murkowski, Bumpers, and Craig, as well as the Clinton Administration, for their extensive work on this bill.
"The bill provides for a system of defensible fuel profile zones that will replace current logging activities on the Plumas and Lassen National Forests and the Sierraville District of the Tahoe National Forest. It includes significant environmental protections: The bill protects environmentally sensitive lands, including all California spotted owl habitat areas and activity centers, as well as the roadless areas designated by the Quincy Library Group as off-base and deferred. Placing these areas off limits to logging and road construction protects hundreds of thousands of acres that are not currently protected, including areas identified as old-growth and sensitive watersheds in the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project report.
The bill also requires a program of riparian management, including wide protection zones and riparian restoration projects.
The bill provides for the completion of an environmental impact statement (EIS) and a full public process, consistent with all environmental laws, before the implementation of any resource management activities on any specific areas.
The intent of this bill has always been to replace, not supplement, current logging activity, and according to the Forest Service, the bill will provide for timber harvests at levels consistent with what is occurring in the area."
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