Logging Free-for-All Guts Laws
House Logging Bill (HR 2936) Guts Federal Environmental Laws, Literally Privatizes Public Lands, Creates Logging Free-for-All
Susan Jane Brown, 503-914-1323, [email protected]
Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives begins its consideration of HR 2936, known as the Westerman Bill after its author, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR). The bill contains a cornucopia of loopholes, exemptions and categorical exclusions for environmental, judicial, and public review; and, incredibly, gives away public lands to adjacent private landowners.
The bill would be disastrous for forest health, requiring unsustainable logging, transferring endangered species authority away from the expert consulting agencies, and eliminating environmental analysis for a huge number of logging projects. The legislation also appears to revoke President Obama’s recent expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the only National Monument in the country designated specifically to protect native biodiversity.
“The Westerman Bill is breathtaking in how brazenly it seeks to destroy responsible science-based forest management in this country,” said Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center. “This legislation is a wish list from the timber industry, and would create more controversy and legal uncertainty than the infamous 1995 Salvage Rider, which served to undermine public trust in the credibility of the federal land management agencies,” Brown explained. “Moreover, the bill is an underhanded attempt to repeal the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which is overwhelmingly supported by the public. The timber industry that supports this legislation should be ashamed.”