What a difference a year makes

  • Federal agent tells protesters of road closure on Umpqua Nat'l Forest

    Kurt Jensen
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to a feature story.

A brief history of the salvage logging rider:

July 27, 1995: President Bill Clinton signs the salvage logging rider. The measure, attached to a budget bill containing financial aid for victims of the Oklahoma City bombing and for war-torn Bosnia, expedites logging on national forests across the country by suspending environmental laws that ordinarily protect these forests (HCN, 8/7/95). The rider not only orders increased logging of dead and dying trees, it also directs the preparation of sales in the Pacific Northwest that fall under the president's Northwest Forest Plan (Option 9), as well as sales dating back to 1990 in Oregon and Washington that had been held up for environmental reasons (section 318 sales).

Sept. 6, 1995: An Oregon district court judge, Michael Hogan, releases the Warner Creek Fire Salvage Sale from an injunction, allowing it to be logged under the salvage rider. Activists move in immediately and set up a barricade on the road leading to the sale.

Dec. 4, 1995: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that senior Clinton administration officials, including Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, privately admit that "unprepared White House negotiators gave away the store when they agreed to a so-called salvage rider."

Dec. 8, 1995: Rep. Elizabeth Furse, D-Ore., introduces H.R. 2745, the "Restoration of Natural Resources Laws on the Public Lands Act of 1995," with 40 co-sponsors. The bill would repeal the salvage rider in full and eventually garners more than 150 sponsors (HCN, 12/25/95).

Feb. 24, 1996: On a trip to the state of Washington, President Clinton admits he erred when he signed the rider and says the rider "has to be repealed" (HCN, 3/18/96).

March 1996: On its third try, the Forest Service draws a bid of just $138,000 from Omak Wood Products for the Copper Butte salvage sale in eastern Washington's Colville National Forest. The agency had predicted it would receive an offer of $888,000 for the trees, but the timber market is soft.

March 14, 1996: After a bitter floor debate (HCN, 3/18/96), the Senate rejects 54-42 an amendment by Washington Sen. Patty Murray, D, that would partially repeal the salvage rider and restore environmental laws for salvage and old-growth sales offered under the rider.

March 21, 1996: The Okanogan National Forest refuses to give the Thunder Mountain Salvage Sale in northeastern Washington to the highest bidder - an environmental group. The Northwest Ecosystem Alliance had won the sale with a bid of $30,000 and offered to protect the trees. The Forest Service said the contract required cutting the trees (HCN, 4/15/96).

April 2, 1996: Citing "escalating public concerns," the Forest Service cancels the Barkley Salvage Sale on California's Lassen National Forest 24 hours before it is slated to be sold. The sale would have undermined an agreement worked out by a diverse coalition, the Quincy Library Group (HCN, 5/13/96).

April 6, 1996: The Forest Service and Roseburg Forest Products approve a timber swap which will halt clearcutting of an ancient forest on the Umpqua National Forest in southwest Oregon in exchange for timber elsewhere. The deal comes on the heels of protests at the site (HCN, 4/15/96).

April 24, 1996: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Judge Hogan's ruling that vastly expands the number of healthy, old-growth trees that can be cut in Oregon and Washington under the salvage rider.

May 8, 1996: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allows logging in two sales on the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana. The sales allow clearcuts of hundreds of acres in previously protected grizzly bear habitat.

June 14, 1996: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reverses Judge Hogan's decision that marbled murrelet habitat can be logged unless a nest is found in the trees. The court also rules that the Forest Service does not have to search out timber companies to log old sales if the original party is disinterested or ineligible. This is the first court victory for the Clinton administration (HCN, 7/22/96).

June 20, 1996: The House of Representatives narrowly defeats an amendment (211-209) that would have ended the logging rider at the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, 1996, instead of Dec. 31, 1996 (HCN, 7/22/96).

July 2, 1996: Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman issues a directive to the Forest Service, notifying it of new restrictions on cutting green trees and logging in roadless areas under the "salvage" provisions of the logging rider. Glickman says, "The salvage rider should be used only where emergency conditions warrant its use" (HCN, 7/22/96).

July 27, 1996: Forest activists rally in Portland, Seattle, Eugene and San Francisco to mark the one-year anniversary of the salvage rider.

July 31, 1996: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the salvage rider exempts timber sales offered under the President's Northwest Forest Plan (Option 9, which covers old-growth forests in western Washington and Oregon) from appeals and environmental laws.

Aug. 1, 1996: Agriculture Secretary Glickman tells Congress that 157 salvage sales, covering 653 million board-feet of timber, will be cancelled as a result of his July 2 directive.

Susan Elderkin works for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund

High Country News Classifieds
  • WATER RIGHTS/ADJUDICATION BUREAU CHIEF
    Job Overview: Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that Montana's land and water resources provide benefits for present and future...
  • CLIMATE CHANGE COORDINATOR
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is seeking a Climate Change Coordinator to play a lead role in shaping our programs to make the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Position Announcement POSITION TITLE: Executive Director ORGANIZATION: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument REPORTING TO: Board of Directors EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-time - Full-time, based...
  • HEALTHY CITIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Healthy Cities Program Director leads and manages the Healthy Cities Program for the Arizona Chapter and is responsible for developing and implementing innovative, high...
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Conservation Programs Manager Job Opening Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Associate Director Job Posting Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through science,...
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • OJO SARCO FARM/HOME
    A wonderful country setting for a farm/work 1350s.f. frame home plus 1000 studio/workshop. 5 acres w fruit trees, an irrigation well, pasture and a small...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • NEW BOOK:
    True Wildlife Tales From Boy to Man. Finding my voice to save wildlife in the Apache spirit. 365+ vivid colorful pictures. Buy on Amazon/John Wachholz