Loggers Ask Pres to Reconsider

By Jim Peterson

Scientists Locked Out of Administration Hearings

COTTAGE GROVE, OR- Pacific Northwest loggers have asked President Clinton to rethink his plan for managing federal forests in the Pacific Northwest.

By resolution, the 3,600 members of the Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) have advised the President, Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt and Agriculture Secretary, Mike Espy, the price tag is simply too high.

“This option will eliminate 85,000 jobs in the Pacific Northwest, and that is much too high a price to pay,” said OLC President Wil Heath, part owner of Heath Logging of Cottage, Oregon. Beyond job losses, which the Clinton Administration says will not exceed 6,600, loggers are furious about the fact Congress was not allowed to participate in the President’s decision-making process.

“The ADMINISTRATION is attempting to make an end-run on this region ‘s congressional delegation, and we think it is wrong, just plain wrong,” Heath declared. Whatever happened to our representative form of government?

Loggers also lambasted the Administration for “its selective use of scientific data” concerning spotted owls.

“The Presidents scientists ignored a great deal of scientific data that refutes their view that spotted owls can only live in old growth forests,” Heath said. “Many scientists disagree with what has been proposed, but they were not allowed to participate in what was clearly a secret proceeding conducted behind closed doors.”

For 12 weeks earlier this year, the Administrations Federal Ecosystem Management Assessment Team did meet behind closed doors in Portland, where it crafted what became the President’s plan for managing federal forests in the Pacific Northwest.

“It was a closed process, controlled by a small group of scientists known to believe spotted owls must have old growth,” Heath declared. They set out to prove they were right and the end product is Option 9. This is not science. It is unsubstantiated theory, and we are all guinea pigs under the thumbs of a bunch of social engineers who want to completely change the way people live and work in the Pacific Northwest. It’s criminal.

Logging Conference members were also sharply critical of the Administration’s proposal to buy back or cancel existing timber sales said to be inconsistent with Option 9.

“These sales have been studied from every way but Sunday,” Heath said. “They have met every environmental test there is. Now we have the Clinton Administration trying to change the rules again. When is the public finally going to say enough is enough?”

Heath said Oregon loggers are also convinced the President could have considered several other options that in their opinion would have protected forests while protecting the lives of those who work there.”

“When the President was in Portland last April he promised a balanced solution, one that considered the needs of people on equal footing with the needs of plants and animals,” Heath said. “This isn’t it. This isn’t even close.”


Editor’s Comment: As this 1993 article also points out, the Clinton Administration turns its back on true science in all issues.

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