1990 Scorecard Vote
This bill would allow states to restrict the export of unprocessed logs from state lands and make permanent the federal ban on the export of raw logs from federal lands. States are now prohibited from making such decisions to protect their resources under a 1984 Supreme Court decision.
Environmentalists support these measures because the timber industry and federal agencies have cut down nearly 90% of our virgin forests while failing to create jobs in the production of finished wood products. The export of raw logs from state and private lands contributes to the pressures placed upon public forest lands in the Pacific Northwest. Environmentalists are fighting to preserve ancient forests and endangered species. The media has focused on the Northern Spotted Owl and has made it a symbol of conflict between jobs and the environment. In fact, timber industry jobs are being lost to mill modernization and the export of raw logs in place of finished timber products.
Between 1979 and 1987 the timber industry in Oregon and Washington reduced its work force by sixteen percent, primarily because of technological advances in the forest products industry, and this trend is likely to continue. In 1988, 30% of the logs cut in Oregon were sold -- unprocessed by American workers -- to foreign countries to be made into finished products, a direct loss of jobs.
Providing states with the power to restrict the export of raw logs from public lands is a crucial step in helping to resolve the timber crisis in the Northwest. The Senate passed the bill with a strong vote of 81-17 on April 24. Yes is the pro-environment vote.