1993 Scorecard Vote
The federal government has sanctioned tremendous environmental damage through its proposals to send or give away timber on public lands. The resulting clear-cutting destroys wildlife habitat. New logging roads slice through the last large unprotected tracts of undeveloped forests. Silt runs off roads, clogging valuable trout and salmon streams and threatening commercial fisheries that contribute over $1 billion to the nation's economy. The silt invades clean water supplies for homes and industries.
To make matters worse, taxpayers lost nearly $1.1 billion in the last five years on below-cost timber sales from federal lands. The Forest Service not only sells timber below its cost of preparing it for sale, but subsidizes the construction of an extensive network of roads to get the logs out. According to testimony before Congress, these activities waste a major portion of taxpayers dollars given to the Forest Service. In fiscal 1992 alone, the losses reached $350 million in 101 national forests.
In an amendment to the fiscal 1994 Interior Appropriations bill, Rep. John Potter (R-IL), joined by Reps. Mike Synar (D-OK) and Lynn Schenk (D-CA), attempted to cut funding for the Forest Service by $11.9 million to discourage these destructive below-cost timber sales. The Porter amendment was rejected 164-262 on July 14, 1993. YES is the pro-environmental vote.