Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 987 - Tongass Timber Reform Act
(Mrazek (D) New York and 154 others)
The Administration opposes enactment of H.R. 987, and urges delay of this legislation until the revised Tongass National Forest Management Plan is completed next year.
The Administration strongly opposes any effort to cancel two existing long-term timber sale contracts. The Department of Agriculture has already renegotiated one of the contracts, and is currently negotiating to revise the other. Cancellation of these contracts is unnecessary, and would result in substantial Federal expenditures to compensate the contract holders for the taking of their property rights. Moreover, cancellation could result in significant economic dislocation in southeast Alaska.
The Administration also objects to provisions of H.R. 987 that would (l) require 100-foot "buffer strips" in which no logging would be permitted on each side of streams and tributaries used by anadromous fish, and (2) create 23 new wilderness areas totalling nearly 1.8 million acres of the Tongass National Forest. The Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing steps needed to improve protection of anadromous fish and additional wilderness area recommendations. Recommendations in both of these areas would benefit greatly from the professional field review and public comment period that are part of the forest planning process.
If H.R. 987 were presented to the President with a provision terminating the existing long-term timber sale contracts, the Secretary of Agriculture would recommend disapproval of the bill.
George Bush, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 987 - Tongass Timber Reform Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/327860