« Return to this article

Know the West

Timber industry mounts an offense

  The timber industry this winter launched a $1.5 million campaign in the Pacific Northwest to derail President Clinton's Option 9 forest plan and lift court injunctions on timber sales. In addition to radio and television ads, the industry created three citizen committees in Washington, Oregon and northern California that have sent mailings to 1.5 million households. The committees' founding members were primarily drawn from the non-timber business community and include the chairman of the Boeing Company, the publisher of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, and prominent members of the AFL-CIO. But the campaign is financed by the American Forest and Paper Association. The mailings by the Oregon and Washington Citizens to Protect the Northwest Economy predict that Clinton's plan will cause the loss of up to 65,000 jobs, place a strain on safety-net programs, and wreak havoc on banks, retail and service businesses. Conservationists criticized the industry for resorting to scare tactics it has used in the past. "The packaging may appear different," said Dave Crandall, executive director of the Inland Empire Public Lands Council, "but the product remains the same."