Summary: H.R.1516 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (07/27/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Tongass Timber Reform Act - Title I: Alaska Lands Act Amendments - Amends the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act to repeal the ongoing appropriations for timber utilization in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

Repeals the requirement for identifying lands unsuitable for timber production in such Forest.

Repeals the reporting requirement on the adequacy of timber supply from Forest lands.

Requires the biennial report on such Forest to include the impact of timber management on subsistence resources, wildlife, and fisheries habitats.

Requires the southeast Alaska commercial fishing industry to be included, for cooperation and consultation, in a study of the Forest timber supply and demand.

Title II: Tongass Contract Reforms - Declares that changes in certain long-term timber contracts affecting the Forest are necessary because the current contracts: (1) prevent proper management of the Forest; (2) have undermined fair competition in the southeast Alaska timber industry; and (3) fail to provide a fair financial return to the United States.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture, within 90 days after the enactment of this Act, to enter into negotiations with the current long-term timber contract holders to make changes in the contracts that will achieve specified objectives, including: (1) bringing forest planning and management practices of the Forest into conformance with such practices in other national forests and into compliance with specified Federal law; (2) promoting fair competition within the timber industry in southeast Alaska; (3) preventing excessive harvesting of high-volume old-growth timber and enhancing the protection of fish and wildlife resources and habitats in the Forest; and (4) conforming long-term contract procedures to procedures for short-term sales. Requires the Secretary, to the extent that such objectives can be achieved unilaterally, to take the actions necessary to achieve such objectives within one year after the enactment of this Act.

Directs the Secretary, within one year after the enactment of this Act, to report to the Congress on the implementation of the above provision, including the action taken and whether or not the current long-term contract holders have agreed to necessary changes. Requires the report to include any recommendations for congressional action or termination of the contracts to achieve the objectives.

Title III: Moratorium on Harvesting - Prohibits the sale or harvesting of timber or associated development within specified areas within the Forest for a period of five years after the enactment of this Act, except as necessary for salvage of insect-infested, dead, damaged, or down timber.

Title IV: Management of the Tongass National Forest - Authorizes and directs the Secretary to take steps necessary to: (1) assess the extent to which planning and management of the Forest have differed from practices with respect to other national forests; and (2) change planning and management priorities to ensure that greater emphasis is given to the interests of the commercial fishing, recreation, and tourism industries, the subsistence communities in southeast Alaska, and the national interest in the fish, wildlife, and other natural resources of the Forest.

Amends the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act to require the biennial report on such Forest to include a description of the steps taken by the Secretary under this title.