1999 Scorecard Vote
The Fiscal Year 2000 Interior appropriations bill contained dozens of anti-environment riders that threatened America's public lands and wildlife. One of the most potentially damaging riders would have affected the way the departments of Interior and Agriculture amend resource management plans, issue leases, or carry out other management activities in national forests or on Bureau of Land Management lands. The rider would have allowed agency officials making these decisions to avoid collecting or considering any new scientific data on wildlife. This would have undermined the agency's own regulations, which require the collection of population data for certain rare or important species.
The rider was designed to overturn a February 1999 decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that the Forest Service had violated National Forest Management Act regulations and the Chattahoochee Forest Management Plan by not compiling adequate scientific data on wildlife populations in its management of the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. However, the rider also had broad implications for wildlife and public lands nationwide, threatening the implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan and new scientific recommendations for management planning in national forests.
Senator Chuck Robb (D-VA) introduced an amendment to remove the rider. On September 9, 1999, the Senate rejected the amendment 45–52. YES is the pro-environment vote.