The roads less funded
This year, Reps. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., and John Porter, R-Ill., want to see if they can push the measure over the top. A letter they wrote to Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, proposes ending all funding for new roads in national forests. Kennedy, Porter and many environmentalists hope it will become an amendment to the 1998 appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior. A vote on the bill is expected this month.
"We do think we're going to win this one," says Porter press secretary Dave Kohn. Not only is there stronger support in the House this year, he says, but more members are ready to make serious budget cuts.
Funding for the Forest Service usually hovers around $3 billion, $74 million of which went last year toward building new logging roads. Under the proposed amendment, timber companies would have to pay for the roads themselves, an expensive change that would cripple the industry, its supporters say.
To comment on the proposal, call Rep. Ralph Regula's office at 202/225-3081. - Emily Miller