1986 Scorecard Vote
The national forest road system already comprises approximately 340,000 miles -- eight times the length of the Interstate Highway system. Many roads constructed by the U.S. Forest Service are built in remote, environmentally fragile areas, where the government's costs of accessing and harvesting timber are not recovered. These roads often scar the mountainsides, silt prime fishing streams, and destroy important wildlife habitat.
Sens. Proxmire (D-WI) and Humphrey (R-NH) offered an amendment to reduce by $90 million (from $234 million) the FY '87 appropriation for building roads in national forests. However, Sen. McClure (R-ID) offered several amendments which restored all but $8 million of the appropriation for forest roads construction, while, as a ploy to capture swing votes, increasing by $15 million the amount appropriated for land acquisition for national parks, wildlife refuges and forests.
McClure's amendments accepted en bloc 53-42; September 16, 1986. NO is the pro-environmental vote. The Proxmire-Humphrey Amendment, as amended by the McClure Amendments, subsequently was adopted. (McClure Amendments, H.R. 5234, FY '87 Interior Appropriations.) In the end, Congress appropriated $180 million for timber road building in FY '87.