P. 0. Box 96090
Washington, DC 20090-6090
File Code: 1510
Date: October 22, 1997
Honorable Diane Feinstein
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
Dear Senator Feinstein:
Discussions related to S. 1029, "Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery and Economic Stability Act of 1997," have resulted in your request for clarification of two issues: 1) whether the Lassen and Plumas National Forests and the Sierraville District managers plan to enter lands classified as off-base and deferred before completion of the EIS directed in the legislation; and 2) whether the bill doubles timber harvest levels on the forests.
With regard to your first question, the forests have identified a program of work for 1998 none of the involved unit managers have any timber sales scheduled for offbase on lands classified as off-base or deferred in the bill.
Your second question indicates some confusion over the effect of the legislation on timber outputs. Analysis in the unreleased revised draft Environmental Impact Statement for Managing the California Spotted Owl Habitat in the Sierra Nevada National Forests of California (CALOWL) Alternative F, which was intended to reflect key components of the Quincy Library Group's Community Stability Proposal of 1993, reflected an allowable sale quantity (ASQ) rather than a planned harvest level. Furthermore CALOWL does not reflect environmental modifications negotiated during the legislative process. That analysis, therefore, can't be used to represent estimated outputs that would be generated by this bill.
Furthermore, the Forest Service does not believe that the timber output estimates provided by the Congressional Budget Office are accurate. Rather, based on the agency's current estimates, the potential timber outputs that would be generated by this bill if fully funded with additional appropriations, would not double but would remain consistent with the outputs provided from those forests over the last five years, which were:
Finally, I must reiterate that significant additional appropriations would be needed to treat the acreage specified in the legislation, assuming that the program is determined by the necessary EIS, and subsequent site-specific NEPA analysis, to be consistent with all existing environmental laws.
Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Logan Lee of our Legislative Affairs Staff at (202) 205-1216.
RONALD E. STEWART
Programs and Legislation
cc: Senator Craig
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