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Chapter 2.4

Federal Zero Cut Legislation Introduced in Congress

The "zero-cut" concept behind HR2789 was first advocated by Tim Hermach of the Native Forest Council, Eugene, OR in 1988. Many organizations, including the Sierra Club, now support this "zero cut" legislation. This article was adapted from Headwater News.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) introduced the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act. ((H.R. 2789) on October 31, 1997. The bill would end all timber sales on National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, and National Wildlife Refuges, phasing out all commercial logging over two years. Current taxpayer subsidies that support logging would be re-directed into worker retraining, ecological restoration, development of alternatives to wood, payments for counties, and deficit reduction.

Chad Hanson, a Sierra Club national director states, "For one hundred years timber companies have been allowed to profit from our public forest lands at the expense of other critical purposes of our forests-providing wildlife habitat, recreation, and waste quality protection." The following facts are cited by Hanson:

  • timber cut annually from our national Forests now comprises only 3.9% of the nation's total annual wood consumption, and therefore is not essential to our economy.

  • Forest Service timber sales caused a net loss to taxpayers of at least $791 million in 1996, according to Congressional Research Service.

  • HR 2789 would save taxpayers $300 million a year, while redirecting approximately $500 million in current logging subsidies to worker retraining, payments to states and counties, and developing environmentally sound alternatives to wood.

  • Recreation and tourism in National Forests create 31 times as many jobs and 38 times as much income as does logging.

For more information you can contact Native Forest Council at:

2190, Eugene, OR 97402.
Phone: (541) 688-2600
FAX: (541) 689-9835 or 461-2156.

Table of Contents
Chapter 2 Intro/Chapter 2.1/Chapter 2.2/Chapter 2.3/Chapter 2.4

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