1989 Scorecard Vote
Environmental groups have made the Tongass Timber Reform Act a legislative priority. The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska has the last extensive stands of uncut temperate rain forest in North America. A heavily subsidized Forest Service timber program now threatens this spectacular old-growth forest and its salmon spawning streams and habitat for bald eagles, grizzly bears, and many other species.
This bill seeks to bring responsible multiple-use management to the Tongass by replacing outdated 50-year timber contracts with short-term contracts. It would repeal a Congressionally mandated timber supply level as well as an automatic Congressional appropriation of at least $40 million a year to the Tongass timber program, thereby temporarily protecting valuable fish and wildlife habitat from logging and road building. Conservation groups would like to see this bill strengthened to include wilderness designations for key fish and wildlife areas and to require buffer strips along all salmon spawning streams.
Due to widespread support for Tongass reform from environmental groups and concerned citizens, the number of Senators that have co-sponsored this legislation has increased from 20 in 1988 to 52 in 1989. We have included co-sponsorship of the Tongass Timber Reform Act as a pro-environment position.