The Relief Report ®
A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax 202/543-5975, E-mail [email protected] Web http://www.nationalcenter.org
Since the House of Representatives approved the Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery and Economic Stability Act of 1997 (H.R. 858) last July, many have hailed it as a locally-driven "consensus" initiative.
Timber companies like the plan because they believe it offers them some certainty, permitting them to harvest timber without the fear of legal challenges by environmentalists that have delayed operations and driven up costs in the past. Local environmentalists like the plan because it would establish environmental restrictions that may not otherwise be possible.
But the QLG bill does not appear to enjoy the kind of local consensus its advocates claim it does. Ranchers don't like it due to its inclusion of a Scientific Analysis Team (SAT) report entitled "Viability Assessments and Management Considerations for Species Associated with Late-Successional and Old Growth Forests in the Pacific Northwest." That report stipulates that grazing can be eliminated in certain areas if it interferes with the SAT's "Riparian Management Objectives." These objectives are so vague any one of the objectives could be used as a pretext for ending grazing.
The SAT guidelines would also establish Riparian Habitat Conservation Areas (RHCA) - buffer zones of between 150 and 300 horizontal feet around surface waters. Cattle could be barred from these zones (denying them access to water), violating legally-binding water rights in the process.
Ironically, foresters may also pay a heavy price if the QLG bill becomes law. Although local environmentalists have always had the option of withdrawing from the QLG and resuming their efforts to stall logging operations, they haven't done so thus far because they fear losing concessions they obtained from the timber industry. But if the QLG bill becomes law, this fear may dissipate.
The QLG bill explicitly states: "Nothing in this section
exempts the pilot project from any federal environmental law."
This means that some of the concessions made by local environmentalists
during the QLG process could conceivably be deemed null and void.
The concessions made by foresters, on the other hand, would still
be law. For more, contact David Ridenour of The National Center
for Public Policy Research @ 202/543-4110 or [email protected].
The Senate may soon vote on a bill that the Clinton Administration
could use to funnel money to the environment movement. Sponsored
by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Tropical Forest Conservation
Act of 1998 (S. 1758) would authorize $400 million over three
years to finance debt-for-nature swaps. Under the program, President
Clinton could offer debt relief to certain developing countries,
provided these countries agree to establish special funds in their
own currencies for conservation programs. The bill places few
limits on the use of these funds, stipulating only that they go
to "nongovernmental environmental, conservation, and indigenous
peoples organizations of, or active in, the beneficiary state."
The inclusion of the words "active in" is significant
in that these words provide a loophole through which U.S.-based
environmental organizations could obtain funding. Past experience
with the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI), which S.
1758 extends, suggests that S. 1758 would be used to support all
kinds of environmental activism. Jamaica's "Earth Day 1994"
and Bolivia's "Children's Ecological Action Program"
were both funded through the EAI. For more, contact David Ridenour
of The National Center for Public Policy Research @ 202/543-4110
or [email protected].
New Releases from The National Center for Public Policy Research
* Sun to Blame for Global Warming. National Policy Analysis #203 explains how variations in sun intensity affect the planet and asserts that sun radiance has a greater influence on the planet's climate than any other factor.
* The Quincy Library Group: So-Called "Consensus" Forest Plan Lacks Consensus, Violates Rights. National Policy Analysis #200 explains why the Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery and Economic Stability Act of 1997 (H.R. 858/S. 1028) is not the locally-driven consensus initiative its advocates claim it is. The paper also shows how the bill could be used to violate private property rights.
* What Scriptures Tell Us About Environmental Stewardship. National Policy Analysis #199 shows how the tenets of radical environmentalism are fundamentally hostile to biblical teachings. The paper was written by Samuel Casey Carter, Executive Editor of Crisis magazine, a magazine of religion, culture and public policy.
* Cloning Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows. National Policy Analysis #196 advises religious leaders concerned about the moral implications of cloning to steer clear of anti-biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin, suggesting that his motives are not the same as their own.
* Global Warming is a Natural Phenomenon. Succinct, pocket-sized card that cites temperature measurements spanning 11,000 years of geologic history to show that global warming is a natural phenomenon.
For copies, contact The National Center for Public Policy Research @ 202/543-4110 or visit our website at http://www.nationalcenter.org.
All editorial correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to: The National Center for Public Policy Research * 501 Capitol Court, N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002 * Tel 202/543-4110 * Fax 202/543-5975 * E-mail [email protected] * Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. Copyright 1998, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in the Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of material in the Relief Report permitted provided source is credited. To receive all National Center newsletters free by e-mail, visit http://www.nationalcenter.org or send a message to [email protected].###