1992 Scorecard Vote
The Ancient Forests of the Pacific Northwest provide unique habitat for more than 200 species of fish and wildlife. The trees themselves -- cedar, fir, pine, hemlock, spruce, and magnificent redwoods -- range from 200 to 1,000 years old, and some stand over 350 feet call. Scientists estimate that at the current logging rates, America's rich heritage of Ancient Forests will be virtually eliminated in less than 20 years. Most of the logging is on public lands and is subsidized by American taxpayers.
The Ancient Forests are a fragile, interconnected ecosystem; basic biology states that dying trees on the forest's floor decompose to provide nutrients for growing animals and plant life. Excessive "salvage" logging, clearing the forests of all diseased, burned, or dead trees breaks the life cycle of the forests irreparably. Environmentalists view such "salvage" logging attempts as legislative loopholes, which may severely damage the delicate balance of the ecosystem by allowing destructive removal of a key biological component of the Ancient Forests.
The vote is on Senator Brock Adams' (D-WA) motion lo table (kill) Senator Slade Gorton's (R-WA) amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill to allow salvage timber sales in the northern spotted owl's habitat. The Gorton amendment would override protections provided for wildlife and the environment by the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. The Adams motion to kill the Gorton amendment was agreed to, 60-35, on August 6, 1992. YES is the pro-environment vote.