16 Jun 1998 Scoop #189: June 16, 1998
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) 507-6398 or [email protected].
Tropical Forest Bill to Fund Environmental CausesThe 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) 507-6398 or [email protected].
New Releases from The National Center for Public Policy Research
National Policy Analysis Papers
* 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.
Talking Points Cards
* 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.