Friends of the River
128 J Street- 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
V: (916) 442-3155 F: (916) 442-3396
May 20, 1997
The Honorable Don Young
Chair, Resources Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Re: HR 858 - OPPOSE
Dear Chairman Young:
Friends of the River opposes HR 858 (Herger) as approved by the Forest Subcommittee and the substitute proposed by House Resources Committee majority staff.
The version of HR 858 approved by the subcommittee and the substitute proposed by the committee's majority staff do not fully legislate the Quincy Library Group (QLG) agreement. Specifically, the bill does not legislatively and proactively protect roadless areas, riparian zones, and other sensitive areas which are excluded from timber management by the QLG agreement. Instead, the bill directs the pilot project to areas delineated for timber management. This does not prevent the Forest Service from conducting non-pilot project logging in roadless areas, riparian zones, and other sensitive areas intended for protection under the QLG agreement.
Although the substitute bill specifically states that riparian zones will be managed under guidelines proposed by the Scientific Advisory Team (SAT), this does not completely reflect the QLG's often stated intent to prohibit logging and roadbuilding in riparian zones. SAT guidelines allow restricted salvage logging and silvicultural activities in riparian zones to meet SATE riparian objectives, in contrast to the QLG's explicit prohibition on logging and roadbuilding.
The bill apparently limits appeals of multiple use activities which may conflict with the QLG's pilot project. The irony of this provision (section 2[f]) is notable given that the QLG claims that legislation is needed to ensure that the Forest Service fully implements the QLG agreement.
The bill initiates a costly and time consuming forest plan amendment process that must include the QLG pilot project as an alternative before the pilot project is concluded and a scientific assessment of its efficacy is completed.
The bill also elevates the QLG above the rest of the general public by requiring the Forest Service to consult with the QLG in the preparation of the Forest Service's annual reports concerning the pilot project and its final scientific assessment of the project's efficacy.
Friends of the River does not believe that legislation is required to implement the QLG agreement. Certainly, HR 858 is not the answer since it fails to fully and adequately implement the spirit and specific intent of the QLG agreement.
Passage of HR 858 will disrupt frank and meaningful discussions between the conservation community, the QLG, and the Forest Service concerning ways to implement the QLG agreement without legislation. We urge you to shelve HR 858 in order to encourage these discussions and allow for the development of an equitable administrative solution.
Thank you for your consideration.
Steven L. Evans