A proposed bill to protect the Northern Rockies ecosystem would create thousands of new jobs, according to an economic study released by an environmental group, Alliance for the Wild Rockies. The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, recently introduced by New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, would designate 20 million acres of wilderness across five states (HCN, 5/2/94). It would also require the Forest Service to restore roughly 1 million acres of land damaged by excessive roadbuilding and poor logging practices. The study, by an economics doctoral student at the University of Utah, estimates the restoration project would generate 2,120 jobs for local laborers, heavy equipment operators and technicians in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Author Michael Garrity says that in the 27 national forests covered by the bill, the Forest Service lost over $185 million on logging sales last year. For a copy of Economic Impact of the Wildland Recovery System of the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, contact the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, P.O. Box 8731, Missoula, MT 59807 (406/721-5420).
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