1996 Scorecard Vote
The Headwaters Forest on California's north coast holds the largest remaining privately held stands of ancient redwood trees and designated critical habitat for an endangered seabird, the marbled murrelet. With only a few thousand murrelets left, proper conservation measures, including designation of critical habitat, are necessary to ensure the species' survival.
Rep. Frank Riggs (R-CA) attached language to H.R. 3662, the Fiscal Year 1997 Interior Appropriations Bill, preventing enforcement or designation of critical habitat for the murrelet on private lands in California under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Riggs amendment would give a special ESA exemption to the Pacific Lumber Company, which seeks to log the redwoods. Riggs's provision put at risk the law, the redwoods, the murrelet, and endangered coho salmon with critical habitat in the forest streams.
On June 19, 1996, the House of Representatives approved Rep. Norm Dicks's (D-WA) amendment to strike the Riggs provision from the bill, 257 - 164. YES is the pro-environment vote.