President Clinton says he's distressed because the salvage rider he signed in July opened up the wrong ancient forests to logging. Faced with growing civil disobedience in the Northwest, the president said last month that he wants Congress to change the law.
As interpreted by a federal judge, part of
the salvage law mandated the sale of some 230 million board-feet of
healthy old-growth in Oregon and Washington (HCN,10/16/95). Clinton
said this "extreme expansion" of logging was never authorized by
the rescissions bill, and he warned that the new sales - sought by
the timber industry - would cause grave environmental injury. His
administration filed an emergency appeal of the judge's ruling, but
on Oct. 26 it was denied and soon the trees will start to
Critics say the Republican Congress has no
interest in reforming the law and that Clinton is naive in
suggesting it. "I don't know how (the administration) can say it
got snookered," Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat, told AP.
Andy Kerr of the Oregon Natural Resources Council was blunter: "We
told them this would bite them on the ass."
Meanwhile, protests against old-growth cuts are
increasing. At the Sugarloaf sale in Oregon's Siskiyou National
Forest, where Boise Cascade has logged nearly all 9.5 million
board-feet, high-profile environmentalists joined 90 others in acts
of civil disobedience.
Audubon Society vice
president Brock Evans, who was among those charged with trespassing
Oct. 30, said he hoped his protest would "encourage my thousands of
colleagues who wear coats and ties to be counted, too." - Chip