FOREST RECOVERY AND PROTECTION ACT OF 1998
(House of Representatives - March 27, 1998)

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[Pages H1651-H1682]
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               FOREST RECOVERY AND PROTECTION ACT OF 1998

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House resolution 394 and rule 
XXIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 2515.

                              {time}  1015


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 2515) to address declining health of forests on Federal lands in 
the United States through a program of recovery and protection 
consistent with the requirements of existing public land management and 
environmental laws, to establish a program to inventory, monitor, and 
analyze public and private forests and their resources, and for other 
purposes, with Mr. Collins in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as having 
been read the first time.
  Under the rule, the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) and the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith).
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, the Forest Recovery and Protection Act of 1998 is the 
result of some 14 months of listening and learning and fact-gathering. 
It is the result of seven hearings in which we heard from a broad array 
of people across this Nation, including scientists, academics, State 
foresters, professional associates, environmental groups, wildlife 
organizations, citizens, community leaders, elected officials, 
organized labor, the forest products industry and the administration.
  Beyond the hearing process, the committee has worked exhaustively 
with minority Members, northeastern Republicans, hopefully all Members 
of this body to refine the bill to broaden support for what we believe 
is a very necessary and a very reasonable initiative. We extended a 
hand and we worked with those who have expressed concerns with the bill 
and we were willing to work in good faith to find solutions.
  I am delighted to stand here today and to tell my colleagues that 
because we have collaborated with these concerned parties we have a 
stronger bill and one that truly represents, we believe, diverse 
interests. Here are just a few of the groups, by the way, that support 
this bill: the AFL-CIO, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and 
Joiners of America, the National Association of Counties, the Society 
of American Foresters, the National Association of State Foresters, the 
National Association of Professional Forestry Schools.
  But despite our best efforts to include all interests in crafting 
this legislation, there are those of course who have elected to remain 
outside the process rather than coming to the table to seek solutions. 
Unfortunately, because they have not been engaged, there are some 
misunderstandings about this bill, which I would like to clear up.
  There are a number of people who are talking about this bill, about 
what it is not. I would like to explain to them about what the bill 
does. It is a five-year pilot project providing a timely and organized 
and scientific strategy to address the chronic conditions of our 
national forests. The bill establishes an independent scientific panel 
through the National Academy of Sciences to recommend to the Secretary 
of Agriculture the standards and criteria that should be used to 
identify which national forests are in the worst shape and where 
restoration efforts are needed most.
  The public then provides input on the standards and criteria which 
the Secretary publishes. Based upon the standards and criteria, the 
Secretary then determines which forests have the greatest restoration 
needs and allocates amounts to those forests. On-the-ground forest 
managers then begin planning projects to restore degraded and 
deteriorating forest resources.
  I have been hearing information to the contrary, so I want to make 
this clear to everyone in this assembly. These projects must comply 
with all applicable environmental laws. This legislation does not in 
any way limit public participation under existing laws and regulations. 
More than that, a full, open, public process must be conducted by all 
recovery projects. All project planning, including analysis of 
environmental impacts, must comply with NEPA, the National 
Environmental Policy Act. Recovery projects must be consistent with 
land and resource management plans, plans that have been analyzed by 
NEPA and have been deemed consistent with environmental laws and 
regulations. There is no short-circuiting, circumventing or limiting of 
laws. Public process or judicial review anywhere in this bill are 
always protected.
  So those who oppose 2515, the original bill, must oppose current 
environmental laws and regulations. Those who oppose this bill must 
oppose restoring fish habitat. They must oppose reducing the threat of 
epidemic levels of insects and disease. They must oppose replanting 
trees and stabilizing slopes after catastrophic events, and they must 
oppose reducing the risk of wildfire.
  Those who oppose this bill say the forest health crisis is a myth, 
that forest health is an excuse to log our national forests. Of course, 
not every acre in the National Forest is degraded or deteriorating, but 
over the last decade an enormous body of scientific literature has been 
generated about our degraded, deteriorating forest resources. 
Scientists agree that our forests are ``outside the historic range of 
variability,'' and that active management is necessary in some areas to 
begin to return forests to their historic conditions.
  The Chief of the Forest Service has said that there are some 40 
million acres of National Forest at unacceptable risk of destruction by 
catastrophic fire, and listed these sources: the Integrated Scientific 
Assessment for Ecosystem Management in the Interior Columbia Basin 
says, ``We found that forests and ecosystems have become more 
susceptible to severe fire and outbreaks of insects and disease''; the 
Southern

[[Page H1652]]

Appalachian Assessment states, ``Several tree species in the Southern 
Appalachians are at risk of extinction or significant genetic loss 
because of exotic pests'' and ``lack of active management in other 
stands has led to development of dense understories, and to the 
senescence of overstory trees of some species''; the Sierra Nevada 
Ecosystem Project states, ``Fire protection for the last half century 
has provided for the development of continuous dense forest stands 
which are in need of thinning to accelerate growth, reduce fire hazard, 
provide for more mid-successional forest habitat and yield of usable 
wood.''
  Well, there is no question about it in my mind and all others that 
this is an essential bill. ``Active management'' is a term that is 
frequently distorted. Active management could be creating in-stream 
structure for fish habitat. It could be planting native grasses to 
stabilize the stream bed; it could be planting trees near a stream to 
provide shade to reduce stream temperatures; and yes, it could also be 
cutting trees to prevent the spread of insects and disease or reduce 
the risk of catastrophic wildfire.

  It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that the Forest Service is in some 
state of catatonic immobilization in that the direction; and the goals 
of the Forest Service are somehow hidden, and direction is essential, 
which certainly this legislation does. The Forest Service, I believe, 
needs emergency care here to help them direct resources in this Nation 
to protect this very valuable resource.
  On-the-ground managers are confused and frustrated with their 
missions. While environmental laws, no question about it, have shut 
down logging, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, please give us an 
opportunity to nurture and care for this resource. To let it burn is 
huge waste; to let it burn means we lost all the environmental issues 
that we all deem important; we lost stream bank protection, we lost the 
resource, we lost wildlife, we lost all of those important issues to 
all of us in the West for some 250 years.
  Will this legislation answer all the questions? Of course not. This 
is a moderate, meager, bipartisan effort to answer some of the problems 
and some of the forests that are in the worst condition in this Nation. 
We think that this will give the Forest Service the direction necessary 
and again, I reiterate, abide by every environmental law in this land.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2515, the Forest 
Recovery and Protection Act. H.R. 2515 creates a 5-year national 
program that requires the Secretary of Agriculture to identify, 
prioritize, and conduct recovery projects. This program includes public 
notice and comment before any money is allocated to the local forests 
for recovery projects. Once they reach the local level, all projects 
will go through the appropriate environmental review before any work is 
performed on the ground.

                              {time}  1030

  In the past, forest fires burned timber stands on a regular basis, 
purging the forest floor of the sickly trees and other undergrowth that 
fuel catastrophic wildfires and hinder the development of mature 
disease resistant trees. Throughout the 20th century, Federal agencies 
have worked to extinguish virtually every fire. This is for good 
reason, as uncontrolled fires threaten lives and property.
  However, allowing forest overgrowth to accumulate contributes to the 
current tinderbox conditions and reduces habitat for deer and other 
wildlife. Not fighting fires, however, is not the cure-all some assume. 
With so much accumulated fuel, prescribed burning, intentionally 
setting fires or allowing naturally occurring ones to burn is a real 
risk. All too often fires intended to rehabilitate a forest grow 
outside their boundaries, destroying millions of acres of healthy green 
trees as well as wildlife, watersheds and other critical parts of the 
ecological system.
  In short, fires reduce the number of uses our forest lands with 
support. Current moves toward hands-off policies which are applauded by 
extremists posing as environmentalists fail on several levels, 
including preventing catastrophic natural events like uncontrolled 
wildfire and insect infestations. Policies based on neglect also 
prevent us from protecting a full range of threatened and endangered 
species and reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions caused by 
fires. By abandoning active forest management, including timber 
harvesting in our national forests, we are condemning them to a cycle 
of unnaturally overcrowded, unhealthy tree stands which serve as poor 
habitat for native species and deprive Americans of quality wood 
products and a vibrant rural economy.
  Proper management of our forests is as important to Members from 
southeastern districts as it is to those from the Pacific northwest. My 
district, the Sixth District of Virginia, is home to large portions of 
the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests. Teams of 
natural resource specialists, including the Forest Service, EPA, the 
Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Fish and Wildlife Service, 
assessed the health of forest lands, including the George Washington 
and Thomas Jefferson National Forests, in the Southern Appalachian 
Assessment. These experts noted the following. Several tree species in 
the southern Appalachians are at risk of extinction or significant 
genetic loss because of exotic pests. Lack of active management in 
other stands has led to the development of dense understories and to 
the senescence of overstory trees of some species. That is the Southern 
Appalachian Assessment.
  By not managing our forests, we are in fact mismanaging them. I urge 
all Members to support H.R. 2515, the Forest Recovery and Protection 
Act. This bill abides by all applicable environmental laws and forest 
plans, creates a 5-year program to address forest health, creates a 
scientific advisory panel to help administer the national program, 
requires audits of the program and ensures that foresters have the 
access to the best and most current data. Most importantly, it enables 
the Secretary immediately to conduct forest health projects in those 
areas where there is sufficient science to move quickly. I strongly 
urge passage of this legislation.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Oregon (Ms. Furse).
  Ms. FURSE. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time. Mr. 
Chairman, I would like to talk today about this bill, the so-called 
Forest Recovery and Protection Act. We are going to hear a great deal 
about forest health today, so I want my colleagues to know that one of 
the reasons our forests are so unhealthy is because of clear-cutting. 
This bill is a straightforward attack on natural resources. It is an 
attack under the guise of forest health.
  I would like my colleagues to think back to those days in the last 
Congress when we passed the salvage logging rider. Do you remember it? 
Well, I do. I remember the piece that 60 Minutes did revealing how bad 
policy led to the worst environmental mistakes of this decade. Let us 
not repeat the mistakes of the salvage rider. The bill before us would 
disrupt local partnerships, local community efforts to restore 
sensitive habitat. This bill is a Washington, D.C. answer, not a local 
answer. We have people working together to solve these problems and 
this bill will disrupt it.
  We have heard talk about the hearings. My governor, the governor of 
Oregon stressed that active management in our national forests should 
avoid areas such as roadless areas, old growth stands, fragile 
watersheds and sensitive fish habitat. H.R. 2515 would not avoid those 
areas. My governor has given us good advice. Let us follow it. This 
bill is based on the premise that these forests are unhealthy and that 
logging is the cure. I would again point out this picture. Logging 
created the problems, in some places clear-cutting. Over 100 scientists 
oppose this bill. They say that increased logging will not cure a 
forest's ills.
  I join with many groups today opposing this bill. The League of 
Conservation Voters has said that they will score this bill. The 
President has sent us a message that he will consider vetoing this 
bill. The other people who are opposing the bill are Taxpayers for 
Common Sense, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church and the 
League of Conservation Voters. Join

[[Page H1653]]

them, my friends, join them and vote no on H.R. 2515. This is a bad 
idea.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Nebraska (Mr. Barrett).
  Mr. BARRETT of Nebraska. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise to support the Forest Recovery and Protection 
Act and to praise the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) for his 
dedication to forest health issues and things that have bedeviled 
Congress for many years. I also want to commend the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Stenholm) for his willingness to work with our chairman and 
for his leadership on this specific issue. Many of my colleagues 
perhaps do not realize that Nebraska is the home of a national forest. 
Fortunately, the Nebraska National Forest does not have any major 
health problems. Neither is it threatened by destructive fires or 
infestation of disease and insects. However, I know that many of our 
forests in this country are at code red levels. According to the U.S. 
Forest Service's own analysis, between 35 and 40 million of the 191 
million acres it manages is, quote, at an unacceptable risk of 
destruction by catastrophic wildfire.
  I realize that some of my colleagues oppose this bill. I wonder if 
they would oppose it, however, if the town in their district had an 
out-of-control fire racing right toward that community. We are also 
going to hear many reasons to support the bill throughout the debate.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate a few that I think are 
critical. This bill is a timely solution to a very real problem. It 
requires all decisions made under a forest recovery plan to comply with 
all Federal laws. It uses an independent panel of forest scientists to 
advise the Forest Service on which forests are at greater risk. And it 
requires the Forest Service to be accountable for its performance. The 
bill has undergone numerous changes, all in an attempt to address 
specific Members' concerns.
  Again I praise the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) and the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) for their tenacity and willingness 
to work with their colleagues. I think it is time to accept the bill, 
Mr. Chairman. I urge Members to support it. I think it is a responsible 
solution to a very serious problem that our forests face.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Peterson).
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, today I rise in strong 
support of H.R. 2515, the Forest Recovery and Protection Act. This bill 
is the product of seven hearings in the Agriculture Committee on forest 
conditions in the United States, which included witnesses from the 
administration, scientists, academics, lawmakers, state foresters, land 
managers, local elected officials, environmentalists and the forest 
products industry. This bill provides a bipartisan plan for restoring 
and protecting damaged forest resources in all regions of the country. 
H.R. 2515 requires priority recovery of forest resources at greatest 
risk using prescribed burning, insect disease control, riparian and 
other habitat improvement, reforestation and other appropriate recovery 
activities. It operates in strict compliance with all environmental 
laws and forest plans and prohibits entry into wilderness, roadless 
areas, old growth stands or riparian areas and other areas currently 
protected by law, court order or forest plan.
  Additionally, this bill establishes an independent interdisciplinary 
panel of scientists to advise the Secretary on how to identify and 
prioritize appropriate reforestation priorities for forest resources 
that are either damaged or at risk. It gives priority to recovery 
projects conducted in areas where thorough scientific assessments have 
been completed. I think the Forest Recovery and Protection Act is a 
sensible bipartisan approach to improving and protecting our country's 
most endangered forest resources. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 
2515.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Herger).
  Mr. HERGER. Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in strong support of the 
Forest Recovery and Protection Act. I have the great privilege to 
represent a district in northern California that includes all of or 
parts of nine national forests. Historically, these forests were filled 
with stands of large trees. The forest floors were less dense and were 
often naturally thinned out by fires that would clean out dense 
underbrush and would leave the big trees to grow even larger. However, 
because of decades of aggressive fire suppression and modern hands-off 
management practices, these forests have grown out of hand, creating an 
almost overwhelming threat of fire.
  According to Forest Service estimates, approximately 40 million acres 
of the agency's lands are at a high risk for catastrophic fire. The 
cause of this fire threat is an unnatural accumulation of vegetation 
and small trees on western forest floors. The U.S. Forest Service 
estimates that the forests are 82 percent denser than in 1928. Dense 
undergrowth combined with increasingly taller layers of intermediate 
trees has turned western forests into deadly fire time bombs. Under 
these adverse conditions, fire quickly climbs up dense tree growth like 
a ladder until it tops out at the uppermost or crown level of the 
forest and races out of control as a catastrophic fire. Because of its 
high speed and intense heat, a crown fire has the capability of leaving 
an almost sterile environment in its wake with almost no vegetation, 
wildlife or habitat left behind. We must then ask ourselves, what 
habitat do we have left if everything in the forest burns?
  Mr. Chairman, the legislation of the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. 
Smith) takes a much needed first step in the right direction toward 
prioritizing efforts to restore forest health. This legislation 
prioritizes areas at greatest risk of destruction while working in 
compliance with all environmental laws and forest plans. It establishes 
an independent scientific panel to ensure that all activities are 
applied in a way that improves forest health using the best available 
science, not politics. It establishes agency accountability for on-the-
ground results, and ensures fiscal responsibility by requiring annual 
reports to Congress, and creates independent audits of agency 
performance. But most importantly, this legislation creates incentives 
for the Forest Service to make timely, efficient management decisions 
before our forests burn up.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to vote yes on the Forest Recovery 
and Protection Act.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Miller).
  Mr. MILLER of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time. Mr. Chairman, I would hope that we would reject this legislation. 
Yesterday we sat in the Committee on Resources along with our 
colleagues from the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on 
Appropriations as members sat stunned when they were told of the 
deficiencies in the accounting system of the off-budget funds in the 
Forest Service. We were told that it is some $215 million that the 
Forest Service could not identify how it spends. We were told by the IG 
of the problems of the off-budget funds. Yet this legislation now comes 
along and takes money from one off-budget fund to put it into another 
off-budget fund. It takes it from a fund that is trying to restore the 
forests from all of the damages of roads and constructions and logging 
that has taken place in the past and now puts that in to promote 
salvage and thinning, a proposal that this Congress and the 
administration has turned down time and again. In this legislation they 
removed the words ``salvage'' because they knew they could not stand by 
them, but they went right back to the legislation and authorized the 
very same practices.

                              {time}  1045

  It is those very same practices, both financial and forestry 
practices, that have caused the Secretary of Agriculture to say that he 
would recommend to the President a veto of this legislation. It is 
those very same practices, both financial and forestry practices, that 
tell the League of Conservation Voters that they will score this vote 
as an anti-environmental vote.
  This bill is not necessary. This bill engages us in the same old 
practices that have brought us the disaster on America's forests. Time 
and again our committee and the Committee on Agriculture and others 
have listened to the

[[Page H1654]]

scientists that told us the forests that are in the most trouble, the 
forests that have suffered the most damage, are those forests that have 
already gone through the logging. The healthiest forests, the best 
forests in this country, are those that have not gone through the 
logging, and yet this legislation would put us back into the same old 
tired discredited forest practices.
  We should not do that in this legislation, my colleagues. We should 
understand that and reject this legislation.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Boehlert).
  (Mr. BOEHLERT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this bill. I want 
to begin, though, by commending the chairman, the gentleman from Oregon 
(Mr. Smith). As always, he has proven to be open to negotiation and has 
indeed made changes that do improve the bill. But I have come to the 
reluctant conclusion that this bill is simply too flawed to move 
forward. The bill just reaches more broadly than is necessary to 
address the forest health problems it is ostensibly designed to 
address.
  Mr. Chairman, if the goal is to solve fire and infestation problems, 
we ought just to give the Forest Service additional funding and require 
them to begin planning projects swiftly under current rules and 
regulations. That is the approach we took with the Quincy Library bill 
which I helped negotiate, a bill which passed the House with only one 
dissenting vote. Instead, this bill creates an elaborate new program 
that could turn out to be just another logging and road building 
program in disguise.
  Why are we so concerned about potential abuse of this program? Are we 
just suffering some sort of paranoia? The answer is clearly no. The 
salvage rider proved that programs that are supposedly designed to deal 
with forest health can turn out to be uncontrolled large-scale 
timbering programs that have nothing to do with forest health.
  I am also concerned about moving ahead with bills that purport to 
help people but that have no chance of becoming law. I thought it was 
an axiom of legislating that a bill cannot help anyone if it does not 
become law. The administration has said in no uncertain terms that this 
bill would be vetoed. Every single environmental group, without 
exception, vehemently opposes this bill. If we are serious about 
solving problems on the ground, we ought to go back to the drawing 
board and come up with a signable bill.
  I have at the ready an amendment to ensure that this program created 
by the bill cannot be used as an excuse to build new forest roads, and 
I will strongly oppose any efforts to weaken the roads language that is 
already in the bill. I may also offer a substitute that would turn this 
into a signable bill with just a few changes. I think it is unfortunate 
that we are spending time voting on a bill that will be vetoed instead 
of passing a bill that will actually address forest health.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Stupak).
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding this 
time to me, and I thank him for his leadership on this bill along with 
the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) for their leadership on this 
Forest Recovery and Protection Act, which really is a good bill that is 
used to address the problems of forest health in an environmentally 
sensitive and scientifically sound manner.
  Many opponents here have argued that the bill is not needed because 
the problem with our forest health is just a myth. Does that mean that 
millions of acres are being destroyed by mythical forest fires and 
outbreaks of disease? I wish someone could tell me.
  Know that in northern Michigan our forests are not dying from 
disease, and, no, our homes were not destroyed in the wildfire. It was 
all just a dream conjured up by the politicians in Washington. It is 
not. It is a reality.
  The fact is that our forests are in trouble, and it is not just a 
problem with the forests out west. In the Great Lakes, in my district, 
about half of the 90 million acres of jack pine in the Hiawatha 
National Forest alone are highly susceptible and are being destroyed by 
jack pine budworm infestation.
  Furthermore, a letter from the Forest Service to my office dated 
April 23, 1997, states gypsy moth infestations continue to be a problem 
for the people of the State of Michigan. In fact as we are debating 
here today, the gypsy moths are destroying our forests in northern 
Michigan.
  Severe infestations can and are causing extensive damage and creating 
catastrophic fire conditions. In Michigan approximately 600 wild forest 
fires are reported each year. Michigan's Stephan Bridge fire in 1990, 
just 1990, destroyed 76 homes and 125 buildings in just one afternoon.
  Mr. Chairman, these are real problems facing our forests, not myth. 
The Forest Recovery and Protection Act is a sensible approach to 
improving forest health. The bill adheres to sound scientific 
principles, is subject to all current environmental laws and land 
management plans, and leaves the decision with local communities by 
involving Federal and State foresters and local citizens in a process 
of identifying the risk forest areas.
  I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) and the gentleman 
from Oregon (Mr. Smith) for bringing forth this legislation, and I urge 
all my colleagues to support this very important bill.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest) who has been an integral part of the 
negotiation on this bill, and I thank him for that.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Oregon for 
yielding this time to me, and I want to emphasize the word 
``gentleman'' when I say the gentleman from Oregon, with capital 
letters.
  Quickly, in response to one of my earlier colleagues, I have drawn a 
conclusion that this bill represents the best of the Quincy Library 
bill. The Quincy Library bill brought this House together in 
understanding the difficulties of managing the Nation's forests, and we 
passed that bill. I think this bill does the same thing.
  Very quickly, I would like us to look at the big picture here. This 
country was founded on four very positive things: democracy, character, 
an endless frontier, and an abundance of natural resources. Well, our 
resources are diminishing quickly. Our frontier is gone. Basically what 
we have left to manage our resources for future generations, yes, 
hundreds of years in the future, is democracy and character. We have to 
rely on democracy and character.
  What is the next frontier? It is an intellectual frontier. An 
intellectual frontier means we have to put aside rancorous debate, 
personal prejudices, sit together and discuss these issues in as 
intelligent a manner as is possible so that we can manage those few 
remaining resources for generations to come.
  Can we sustain logging, mimic nature and protect biological 
diversity? Yes, we can. Do we have the knowhow? Yes, we do. How do we 
implement that knowhow? The first step to implementing that particular 
skill is through this bill. Is this bill based on the best available 
scientific data? Absolutely without question. Does this bill protect 
all environmental regulations? Absolutely without question.
  What are some of the things this bill does? It goes in and finds 
those areas of the riparian places in our national forests that are 
damaged, and we will fix them. Soil stabilization, water quality 
improvements, thinning, habitat improvement, et cetera, et cetera et 
cetera; this bill does that.
  The chief of the Forest Service said 35 to 40 million acres are in 
danger of catastrophic fire, soil erosion, habitat loss. So what do we 
do? Do we come up to the plate and respond? The answer is yes.
  This is not about forest roads, it is not about commercial logging, 
it is not about clear-cutting. This is about funding a recovery program 
for our Nation's forests.
  Is this bill more positive than negative? That is the question. More 
than we can ever know at this point, this bill is positive, and I urge 
my colleagues to vote yes.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Vento).
  (Mr. VENTO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)

[[Page H1655]]

  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the bill. This 
measure is predicated on a false premise, and that is that there is a 
crisis. The fact of the matter is that the problems that persist in our 
national forests today have persisted for some time, and the fact is 
that as the forest chief had pointed out in his testimony before the 
committees that had hearings on this, that this sort of concept of 
cutting it to save it is inappropriate and ineffective.
  The causes of what today is stated as forest health are many. Part of 
it is the fact that we have high-graded and put inroads and in fact 
suppressed fires in many cases, and then there has been some fuel 
buildup. That is not going to be solved by cutting down trees in the 
selected areas. In fact, many other problems have persisted in terms of 
urban interface where people have built, in the forest safety questions 
persist. Cut down one area, you have fire in another. So this bill and 
harvest clearly is not the answer.
  No, the Forest Service has the tools to deal with forest health 
today. The fact is, as I said, this issue has built up over many 
decades. A 5-year program is hardly even a start. The fact is that this 
has to be premised and placed in the responsibilities today of the 
total Forest Service, not just in this narrow bill that we have before 
us. And I suggest as my colleagues go through the details of this bill 
and look at the requirements, there are a couple of requirements that 
stick out that are not now the basis on which the Forest Service Policy 
and Law functions.
  One, this legitimizes the low-cost sales, so the fact is when one 
goes into an area and makes the sale, the predicate is instead of just 
the forest health treatment, we know a lot of issues do not make money, 
but this justifies further below-cost sales. That is what it does. 
Notwithstanding that, that is not a consideration in this particular 
bill. That is a requirements of this bill.
  The other is that it suggests that we look at what the economic 
impact is on the community, and I think that that is an important 
issue. We are all concerned about helping our constituents, but not at 
the expense of the public taxpayer, not at the expense of losing our 
forests.
  The bottom line here is we are going to lose the forest and we are 
going to pay money to do it in terms of the taxpayer. I urge Members to 
reject this bill.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Hinchey).
  Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding this 
time to me.
  This bill is not needed to address real problems of forest health. 
The Forest Service has now authority to take actions that are needed, 
such things as prescribed burns, thinning, et cetera, where the health 
of the forest requires it and where there is a risk of wildfire. The 
bill would establish a new, cumbersome, bureaucratic administrative 
process that is not needed.
  The Forest Service financing methods and accounting systems have long 
been a subject of criticism. Yesterday, a joint hearing looked into 
those issues. What we found was that there were problems, but the 
Forest Service is cleaning up that mess. This bill would impede that 
process and make matters worse.
  First, it would divert money from a road and trail maintenance fund 
at a time when the service has a huge maintenance backlog, $10\1/2\ 
billion, and put it into a new recovery trust fund not subject to 
appropriations. The fact that that is not subject to appropriations 
should set off a warning bell for every Member of this House. How will 
that money be used? Who will scrutinize it? What is the potential for 
abuse and mismanagement?
  Under the bill, any revenue from timber sales conducted under this 
plan will be turned over to the States, not to the Federal Treasury. 
This is a giveaway of Federal resources and Federal money, money earned 
from land that is owned by all the people of this country. Imagine if 
all the revenue from the Customs levees at New York were turned over to 
the State of New York. That is essentially what is happening here.
  We have heard that the bill has been changed to reflect expressed 
concerns about environmental impacts. It has indeed been changed at the 
last minute so that few people have had much time to examine the new 
text, but the changes have not in any way satisfied environmental 
concerns. Although most of the references to salvage have been removed 
from the bill, the substance has not changed. The bill is based on the 
premise that the best way to protect the forest health is to cut the 
forest down. The new improved bill not only allows cutting in roadless 
areas, cutting of large old-growth healthy trees, but it authorizes 
cutting in the name of so-called recovery if forest problems are merely 
anticipated or that somebody thinks there might be a problem at some 
time in the future.

                              {time}  1100

  These practices are obviously ridiculous. They would not be limited 
to the size of the forest either. These are just some of the reasons 
why this bill creates bad public policy and should be defeated.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from northern California (Mr. Doolittle).
  Mr. DOOLITTLE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Smith 
bill, the Forest Recovery and Protection Act of 1998. Let me assure my 
colleagues that our forests are in danger. They are not in danger due 
primarily to the existence of the forest roads, which facilitate the 
proper management of the forest, they are in danger from the disastrous 
policies that have been pursued just in the last few years. But, 
indeed, we could go back over several decades and look at the 
cumulative impact of the way we have suppressed fires and allowed the 
tremendous buildup of fuel in the forest.
  These forests have to be managed. The forests we think of as the 
idyllic version back during the days of John Muir were, in fact, 
managed forests. We need to act now. The gentleman from Oregon (Mr. 
Smith) is right, this is a critical point.
  The greatest single danger to our forests, at least in California, is 
the threat of catastrophic wildfire. We learned in testimony the other 
day from the Forest Service and from other experts in forestry, a 
couple of very interesting facts.
  Fact number one, for every live tree that is harvested during a year, 
there are three dead trees in the forest. Fact number two, we add each 
year to the forest four to five times the amount of board feet of 
timber as we harvest.
  Our forests are choked with overgrowth. Just like in our garden, we 
get to a point with overgrowth, and we start crowding out the desirable 
species. We start crowding out life for a lot of the plants that are 
growing there. What we get is a tremendous potential for forest fire. 
We need to adopt the Smith bill. We need to treat now while we can the 
issue of the overgrowth and render safer our forests.
  Let me tell my colleagues, in my district, we had a catastrophic 
forest fire several years ago, the Cleveland forest fire. To this day, 
the hills are barren. There are tremendous problems with erosion. Let 
me assure my colleagues, if they care about the environment, they will 
support this legislation.
  The devastation that occurs from a catastrophic forest fire exceeds 
any devastation caused by other forms of forest management activity. 
There is no comparison. For that reason, we must have the Smith bill. 
The condition of our forest demands it. I strongly urge my colleagues' 
support for this legislation.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, how much time do we have remaining on 
both sides?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) has 14\1/2\ 
minutes remaining, and the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) has 4\1/2\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Colorado (Ms. DeGette).
  Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this bill. While I 
agree that some of our forests are in trouble, I actually think this 
legislation could increase that trouble. The legislation before us has 
been presented as a compromise, but this compromise does not in any way 
address the fundamental flaws that still exist in the bill.
  The bill sets up a quick and dirty review process in which timber is 
harvested under the guise of improving forest health. Proponents have 
trumpeted this legislation as based on

[[Page H1656]]

science. Yet, no scientific consensus exists for the perceived forest 
health crisis. In fact, over 100 scientists have signed a letter which 
directly disputes this assertion.
  Currently, the Forest Service has the authority to undertake 
restoration work on particular forests. Yet, this bill would take that 
ability away, because it uses forest health as an excuse to increase 
commercial logging by minimizing forest analysis and determining the 
appropriate value of the land. It sets up a separate account to pay for 
this forest health program, following $30 million of receipts to the 
States.
  The current recipient of these funds, the Forest Service, estimates 
that a repair backlog of $10 billion exists for maintenance needs. 
These funds are needed to address legitimate and substantial ecosystem 
maintenance needs, such as removing old roads that are degrading water 
quality and degrading our forest. Yet, under this bill, the Forest 
Service would not have access to these much-needed funds, and the 
diverted money would allow States to build new roads for the purposes 
of logging.
  Finally, this legislation does not forbid the use of money for new 
temporary roads. So under the guise, again, of forest health, this bill 
could open up wide tracks of currently unspoiled forests to logging, 
wreaking havoc on wildlife and decimating forests for decades to come.
  Mr. Chairman, building these roads will not increase our forest 
health, it will erode it; and for that reason, I urge a no vote on this 
legislation.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Ms. Stabenow).
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. Chairman, I am a member of the House Committee on 
Agriculture, and I realize the hard work that has gone into this 
legislation. But I must, despite my great respect for the chair and the 
ranking member and the hard work they put in, I must rise today to 
oppose this bill. For many of the reasons that my colleagues have 
indicated, it is fundamentally flawed.
  We have three wonderful national forests in Michigan. Yes, there are 
management issues that need to be addressed, but they can be addressed. 
They need to be addressed in ways that do not include the fundamental 
process under this bill.
  What we have here is a Forest Preservation and Recovery Act that 
authorizes money-making activities that could actually hurt the 
forests. Underneath all of today's discussion about forest health, land 
management, scientific panels of experts, and environmental stewardship 
is actually a money-generating provision that harbors the potential to 
do great harm to our forests.
  As has been indicated, the basis of the bill is a provision that 
permits commercial timber sales. The philosophical assumption in the 
bill is that it is okay to cut down trees to save trees; and I believe 
that that is wrong.
  In addition, by establishing an off-budget source of money, the 
incentives are even greater for the USDA and the Forest Service to seek 
revenue that is free of the appropriations process. I believe the 
management of our most endangered forest should be subject to the 
oversight of Congress, not an off-site revolving fund.
  So as long as the bill contains this provision where we are saying 
that, in order to preserve and protect, we must cut down, this is not 
the kind of provision that makes sense. It does not make sense for 
Michigan forests. It does not make sense for the country.
  With this provision in it, I cannot support the bill, and I would 
urge my colleagues to vote no.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Eshoo).
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Forest Recovery 
and Protection Act of 1998. This legislation is reminiscent of the 
infamous salvage logging rider which suspended all environmental 
safeguards to increase logging on every national forest for 18 months 
on the grounds that it would improve forest health.
  I take issue with the bill's definition of forest health. The author 
of the bill would have us believe that there is a forest health crisis 
and that the only way to alleviate the scourge that this crisis will 
cause is for increased logging.
  A group of scientists from universities across the country, including 
the home State of the author, have come out in opposition to the bill 
and have stated that there is no scientific consensus that commercial 
logging is a cure for particular problems to individual national 
forests.
  Furthermore, the National Forest Service has recently concluded that 
the Nation's forests are generally in a healthy condition. While each 
region does have a variety of health concerns in need of attention, a 
listing of these concerns should not be interpreted as a description of 
forest health crisis.
  I introduced the Act to Save America's Forests, and it is endorsed by 
over 500 scientists, and it defines forest health as a forest which has 
a broad range of native biodiversity. It would protect native 
biodiversity in our Federal forest lands by abolishing clear-cutting in 
Federal forests. It would ban logging and road building in remaining 
core areas of biodiversity in Federal forests. It would protect the 
less than 10 percent of original unlogged forests in the United States.
  The bill before us today, Mr. Chairman, is overly broad in its 
definition of areas in need of recovery. It does not, unlike my bill, 
make roadless areas off limits to logging. It lacks a clearly defined 
limit on how recovery areas would be managed, and it limits citizen 
participation by giving the Forest Service broad discretion to take 
shortcuts through environmental laws.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  Mr. Chairman, what we have heard is a myth. Nothing about this bill 
coordinates with any of these speeches that we have heard. The public 
is invited twice in this bill to state their opinion.
  We have a scientific panel of the finest academicians in the United 
States, 11 of them, and they must be hydrologists, wildlife biologists, 
fisheries biologists, entomologist or pathologist, fire ecologist, 
silviculturist, economist, soil scientists, and the State forester. 
Does that sound like some sort of effort to, in the name of salvage, to 
cut down the forest?
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Mrs. Maloney).
  (Mrs. MALONEY of New York asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding me this time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Forest Recovery and 
Protection Act. This bill starts with the assumption that our national 
forests are sick and diseased and, as a result, need more clear-
cutting.
  This assumption is a myth. There is no direct scientific evidence 
that our national forests are suffering from excessive amounts of dead 
or diseased trees. Tree mortality remains well below 1 percent of live 
tree volume throughout the country. This rate has not changed in 40 
years.
  The bill attempts to save our public forests by cutting them down. In 
my book, cutting down a forest does not save a forest. This mentality 
reminds me of the idea behind the timber salvage rider we passed last 
Congress. Proponents of the timber salvage rider claimed it would 
improve forest health. Well, the trees were cut, but the proponents of 
the Forest Recovery and Protection Act claimed we still have a forest 
health crisis.
  What we found was that the type of logging advocated in this bill 
will create problems rather than solve them. Mr. Chairman, 95 percent 
of America's original forests have been cut down. Just 5 percent 
remains standing, mostly on Federal lands, which is owned by the 
American people.
  Logging under the timber salvage rider upset forest ecosystems by 
draining the soil of important nutrients. It weakened the land, 
creating the potential for dangerous mud slides.
  Instead of this legislation, Congress should be working on the forest 
restoration bill like the one that my colleague just mentioned, the Act 
to Save America's Forests. This legislation would improve forests by 
prohibiting clear-cutting and even aged logging and other abusive 
practices on Federal land. It would all save hundreds of millions of 
road building subsidies and prevent dangerous mud slides.

[[Page H1657]]

  The Act to Save America's Forests would effectively shift our forest 
management focus from corporate profit to protection and nurturing of 
our rare and natural resources.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Turner).
  Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Forest Recovery 
Protection Act, and I thank the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith), 
chairman, and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) for their 
leadership on this issue.
  I represent a district in east Texas that has four national forests. 
In fact, all of the national forests that are in Texas are located in 
the 2nd Congressional District. I understand full well the threats that 
our forests, our national forests, face today from mismanagement and 
lack of proper management. I think this bill takes a major step forward 
in ensuring that we will apply sound management practices to our 
national forests.
  We have a battle ongoing in this country between the 
environmentalists and those who support the sound forestry management 
practices and preservation of the forest. That really is somewhat 
irrational because we all believe in the same thing.
  The main difference is those of us who support this legislation 
understand that trees are renewable resources and that we cannot have a 
sound forest management plan unless we have the tools necessary to 
manage those forests.
  This bill does not disturb any of the wilderness areas that are 
specified by existing law. In fact, it changes nothing about existing 
laws that protect our forests. It is a bill designed to ensure that 
those forests are there for the future.
  I appreciate the fact that this bill dedicates the small revenues 
that will come from the proceeds of any sales on the Forest Recovery 
Act management practices to the counties and the school districts who 
depend upon those funds for their school districts for their children 
and to be sure that the agreement that has been long-standing between 
the counties and the school districts that have national forests in the 
Federal Government are maintained.

                              {time}  1115

  Because when national forces were created they took property off the 
tax rolls of those local counties, and it is appropriate that those 
counties receive some remuneration under the provisions of the bill 
which they do.
  I commend this bill to the House, and I thank the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Smith) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) for 
their leadership.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, what time remains, please?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) has 4 minutes 
remaining, and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) has 4\1/2\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Montana (Mr. Hill).
  Mr. HILL. Mr. Chairman, I want to join with others in commending the 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith), the chairman of the Committee on 
Agriculture, and the ranking member for bringing forward this 
bipartisan and common-sense proposal.
  Mr. Chairman, we need healthy forests, and all the experts agree that 
the public forests in the United States are in a serious and unhealthy 
condition. Unhealthy forests create significant fire hazards, and in 
the post-El Nino period that we are about to experience in the West, 
those are dry conditions, and we have unprecedented buildup of fields 
in these forests, and the fire hazards are extraordinary.
  I want to point out to my colleagues that the fire hazards today in 
the West are significantly higher than they were 10 years ago while 
Americans watched as Yellowstone Park burned up. Catastrophic fires, 
Mr. Chairman, scar the landscape, they erode critical topsoils, they 
destroy wildlife and their habitat, and they destroy critical spawning 
areas. We cannot save the forests by burning them down; we save them by 
managing them, and that is what the goal of this legislation is.
  Mr. Chairman, I have heard in this debate that this group or that 
group is going to score our votes. Mr. Chairman, it does not matter to 
me how those groups in Washington score my vote today, it is how the 
people in the Northwest and the people in western Montana score my 
vote. It is their communities that are at risk of destruction. The 
sportsmen and women and fishers and campers and hikers and berry 
pickers, they are going to be scoring this vote because they want 
healthy forests, because catastrophic fires are going to destroy their 
opportunities to use and enjoy these forests.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support this bill, protect the 
environment, enhance wildlife, protect our streams, save our 
communities, vote ``yes'' on the Forest Recovery and Protection Act.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Brown).
  Mr. BROWN of California. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding me this time. I have a little bit more to say than I can say 
in this amount of time, but I may take a little time under the 5-minute 
rule to speak further.
  First, I want to commend the work that has gone into this bill. I 
know how hard the chairman and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) 
have worked on it. I appreciate their point of view. I do not agree 
with them, but I think that they have made every reasonable effort to 
accommodate differences, and I want to commend them for doing that.
  Mr. Chairman, my experience with the forest goes back quite a ways. I 
have been on the Committee on Agriculture for the last 25 years, and I 
have been a member of the Subcommittee on Forestry, Resource 
Conservation, and Research for many of those years. In my opinion, we 
established the proper framework to protect the health of the forests 
with the Forest Management Act of 1976, I think it was. Unfortunately, 
that act was never adequately administered under the Reagan-Bush years, 
and the purpose of the Forest Service seemed to be to maximize the 
amount of timber that was cut, rather than to manage the forests for 
forest health and for multiple use, which is incorporated in the act, 
as well as adequate provisions to protect all of the users and protect 
the health of the forests.
  We do not need this bill if we would merely utilize the existing 
authorities, which I do not think that we have adequately; and since we 
do not need it, it is not my intention to support it. Frankly, I think 
the reason for introducing the bill is to make it easier to cut the 
forests, which is not an ignoble goal, and I sometimes share it.
  I think that we have to be extremely prudent. In California, our 
forest ecosystems are not healthy. They need to be managed to restore 
their health. That management does not consist of cutting any more 
timber off of those forests, but it includes a much more sophisticated 
approach, based on a whole-ecosystem type of management that we have 
not been getting.
  In my own district we have forest areas which have been completely 
destroyed, and they are getting worse, not better. I would like to see 
us do something about it, but it is not going to consist of increasing 
the amount of logging that we are doing there.
  Mr. Chairman, for these reasons, I would like to continue to work on 
the committee and with the administration, which opposes this bill, as 
I presume has been mentioned, to strengthen the existing management for 
the creation of healthy forests and for agreeing on some appropriate 
level of logging which will contribute to the health of the forests and 
to the economy of the regions. I think a good deal of what is driving 
this bill is that increased logging is important to the economy of the 
region in many cases, and that is driving action that I think is 
inappropriate over the long run.
  The CHAIRMAN. Each side has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Turner) a moment ago made 
an observation that I hope was not lost on the House. The gentleman 
stated that forest trees are a renewable resource. The intent of this 
legislation was to recognize that in the same spirit the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Brown) just spoke in recognizing that there are 
differences of opinion.

[[Page H1658]]

  Many times, I have come to the floor on agricultural bills in which 
the same, much of the same opposition to science-based agricultural 
production practices are opposed by those who believe that somehow, 
some way, we can produce the abundance of food and the quality of food 
and the safety necessary of food supply at the lowest cost to our 
people of any other country in the world and do it without science and 
technology.
  The same is true for our forests, the idea that we should not use the 
best science available in order to preserve and protect and utilize a 
renewable resource, because we will hear many times this year the 
importance of housing. It is awfully important to a housing industry 
that we have a reliable supply of timber.
  Mr. Chairman, I would just make one other observation. The House 
Committee on Agriculture, under the leadership of the Chairman, invited 
all interested parties to participate in this discussion and debate. It 
was interesting that the National Wildlife Federation, the Defenders of 
Wildlife, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Western Ancient Forest 
Campaign, the Sierra Club declined to participate in the hearings or 
participate in discussions of how to make this bill different or 
better.
  Those who did participate and made a better bill that we bring to the 
floor today included the Northern Forest Lands Council, the Rocky 
Mountain Elk Foundation, the Black Bear Conservation Committee, the 
Nature Conservancy, the American Forests, the International Association 
of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Ruffed Grouse Society, the Wildlife 
Management Institute, and the Wilderness Society.
  Now, to those I appreciate very much their participation in crafting 
this bill, controversial to say the least, but making it in a way in 
which we can preserve and protect our forests, and make certain that a 
renewable resource will be there for the best interests of all of the 
American people.
  I encourage the support of this legislation.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Wyoming (Mrs. Cubin).
  Mrs. CUBIN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the bill, and I too 
commend the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith), chairman of the 
committee, and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) for the hard 
work that they have done on this bill.
  The legislation before us today is one way that we truly can actually 
do what we need to do and what we all want to do, and that is have 
healthy and productive forests.
  Like the gentleman from California (Mr. Brown) who preceded me, for 
whom I have the utmost respect for his experience in forestry and his 
service on the committee, I too have extensive experience when it comes 
to forests and forest health. I live in a district, I represent the 
entire State of Wyoming, and I live in a district and visit the forests 
about twice a month. I have flown over the forests in helicopters, and 
I have seen the national forests that have so much dead timber in them 
that it caused the chief of the Forest Service, Chief Dombeck, to say 
this, and I quote, that there are 40 million acres of Forest Service 
land that, in his words, ``are at an unacceptable risk of destruction 
by catastrophic wildfire.'' This is true. This is a real threat. It not 
only threatens human lives, but it threatens animal habitat.
  The only way we can deal with this problem is to manage the forests. 
We all want a healthier, we all want healthy forests. The insect 
infestation that causes dead trees can be controlled if we allow 
logging to be done. I do not think anyone has heard anyone over here 
say we want to clear-cut the forests; that is a thing of the past, we 
do not want to do that. But we want scientists, we want those Forest 
Service people who are on the ground to be able to produce timber from 
the forests when they think it is the scientifically healthy thing for 
the Forest Service to do; and they at this time cannot do this.
  We need this legislation. It is time that we push the Forest Service 
into action to harvest this timber to make our forests healthy and 
beautiful for recreation for people and for the animal wildlife.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the remainder of 
the time.
  Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to extend my gratitude to the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Stenholm), and to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Gilchrest) and to many on the minority side and many on this side who 
have really made an effort to step forward and create a bill that is 
truly designed to take care of the forest health of America. To those 
people I extend my heartiest congratulations, and I thank them 
immensely for their efforts.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chairman, make no mistake--there's nothing healthy 
about this bill. It's ``managed care'' gone off the scale.
  HR 3530 would encourage further destruction of our national forests 
by encouraging logging, limiting public participation in the process 
and exploiting some of our most environmentally sensitive forest areas. 
We have been through this debate. The rationale in HR 3530 is the same 
rationale used in the ``Salvage Logging Rider'' which had devastating 
effects on forests in the name of ``forest health.'' It was a mistake 
then; it is a mistake now.
  The U.S. Forest Service has already confirmed that the ``forest 
``health'' crisis this bill purports to address does not exist. It is 
simply another excuse for salvage logging that will permit logging of 
old growth forests and transfer money from road and trail maintenance 
to unnecessary logging activities. Currently, there is a $10 billion 
backlog in road maintenance throughout our national forests. It does 
not make sense to defer this spending and embark on a frivolous logging 
program.
  In addition to this, the bill actually creates an incentive for 
logging by setting up a special forest management fund that would be 
fed by the sale of commercial timber. The more trees you cut in the 
name of ``forest health''--the more revenues deposited in the account. 
We do not need another fund. In the bill, it is ``available without 
further appropriation''--a determination that should be made by the 
Appropriations Committee in its review of funding for the Forest 
Service.
  Over 100 scientists have registered their opposition to this bill. 
One of them is quoted: ``The Forest Recovery and Protection Act of 1998 
is a stealth attack on natural resources in the guise of `forest 
health.''' Another states: ``The Forest Service already has the 
authority to undertake these appropriate activities * * * new 
legislation that provides a broad mandate to institute `recovery 
projects' on potentially very large national forest areas is not 
needed.''
  The Administration opposes this bill. A letter from Agriculture 
Secretary Glickman states: ``* * * the Forest Service would be much 
better served by continuing its program for improving forest resources 
using its existing authorities rather than be encumbered by this bill's 
controversial provisions and lengthy and costly processes.''
  Secretary Glickman's letter concludes with: ``I share your broad goal 
of improving our forest resources, but the Administration strongly 
opposes this bill; it would curtail important environmental and 
administrative laws, create a tremendous bureaucratic burden, and 
ignite another round of controversy over salvage and forest health 
operations.''
  Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2515, 
the Forest Recovery and Protection Act. I am pleased to be an original 
cosponsor of this bill, a bipartisan measure that reflects sound and 
scientific management of our national forests. Furthermore, I would 
like to make note of the tremendous efforts of the author of this bill, 
Chairman of the Agriculture Committee Bob Smith. Chairman Smith has 
conducted extensive hearings to review the health of our forests and 
has reached out to those holding different viewpoints. His steady, 
informed leadership on this critical issue is to be commended.
  H.R. 2515 recognizes that the long term well-being of our forests 
depends on active, not passive, care and protection. As the Agriculture 
Committee hard from scientists and professional foresters in recent 
hearings, active management measures are vital to sustaining the health 
of a forest. Without these measures, forests become vulnerable to 
insect infestation, disease, and fires, and in fact this has already 
occurred in many of our forests across the country. H.R. 2515 will 
provide the Forest Service with the necessary tools and scientific 
input to manage our national forests in the most responsible way.
  A key point that I would like to make is that this bill helps us 
achieve all of the environmental, economic, and recreational goals that 
we have for our forest lands. By looking out for our forests, we are 
looking out for the sportsmen, the local timber businesses, the 
wildlife, and everyone else who benefits from this wonderful natural 
resource. H.R. 2515 represents a commitment to keeping our national 
forests healthy and strong for the long term.
  I urge a firm yes vote on H.R. 2515.
  Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the 
Forest Recovery and Protection Act (HR 3530).

[[Page H1659]]

  The bill, introduced by House Agriculture Chairman Bob Smith  (OR), 
creates a five-year national program allowing the Secretary of 
Agriculture to identify and pursue an unlimited number of ``forest 
health recovery areas and projects'' within the National Forest 
Service. That means that logging of our National Forests could occur 
anywhere in the National Forests without any limits on the number or 
sizes of the logging projects.
  This bill would allow unlimited clearcuts, invasion sand logging of 
roadless areas and cutting of old growth forests.
  This bill reduces the level of agency review and public comment to a 
level significantly lower than protections provided by the National 
Environmental Policy Act.
  The bill creates an off-budget fund in which 100% of the receipts 
from logging projects would go to the local counties to fund schools 
and roads. By linking funding for local projects to logging, this off-
budget fund will create enormous and inappropriate financial incentives 
for the Forest Service to pursue logging projects in every National 
Forest. If this bill is passed, we can soon expect public school 
teachers coming to Congress to lobby for more logging projects so that 
they can teach school.
  The off-budget fund that this bill would create within the Forest 
Service would bypass the Appropriations process. The off-budget fund 
would be completely unaccountable to Congress and mirror problems found 
in the existing Salvage Fund, Knudsen-Vandenberg and Brush Disposal 
Funds.
  This bill attempts to correct a forest health crisis that the USDA 
and environmental groups say does not exist. The recommendations of 
this bill are based on pseudo-scientific research and questionable 
conclusions.
  This bill is opposed by Democrats, Republicans, environmental and 
religious groups. Environmental groups (more than 100 groups including 
Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Friends of the Earth, PIRG, 
Kettle Range Conservation Group, Western Ancient Forest Campaign) and 
religious groups (Presbyterian Church, United Methodist, Reform 
Judaism) have contacted my office in opposition to this bill.
  This bill would eradicate environmental protections provided by the 
National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and Clean 
Water Act.
  The American public does not support this bill. A clear majority of 
Americans nationwide oppose commercial logging in National Forests
  President Clinton has already said that he will veto this bill.
  I urge you to vote no on H.R. 3530.
  Mr. PORTER. Mr. Chairman, reluctantly, I rise in opposition to this 
legislation. The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Smith, and his staff 
have been extremely patient in working to address my concerns and I am 
disappointed to not be able to support the end result. I understand 
that the Chairman is trying to improve the management of our national 
forests but I do not feel that this bill provides the best means.
  I believe the substitute amendment to the bill greatly improves the 
public participation and the environmental review of the recovery areas 
and projects authorized in the bill. Specifically, the public comment 
and notice periods added to the recovery area designation phase will 
provide in important opportunity for interested parties to provide 
input on those areas designated for potential treatments. In addition, 
the extended time periods for identification of recovery projects by 
the regional forester will guarantee the application of all relevant 
environmental laws to be sure that the health of the entire project is 
considered before implementation of treatments.
  While I do not support the concept of off-budget funds, I am pleased 
with the additional safeguards that the Committee has added for the 
oversight of the Forest Recovery Fund authorized in this bill. In one 
of the first drafts of this legislation, any funds generated by 
recovery projects were deposited back in the Fund established by this 
bill. I raised concerns that this process would provide incentive for 
projects to be revenue generating instead of promoting a treatment 
that, while more appropriate to improve the health of the forest, would 
operate at a cost. The Committee worked tirelessly to address this 
concern and, in the end, I believe that this money should simply be 
sent back to the General Fund of the Treasury.
  My remaining concerns with this legislation are the use of this 
bill's funds for the construction of roads, either permanent or 
temporary, and the lack of protection of roadless areas. These concerns 
are obviously directly linked. I am not against all road building in 
our national forests. However, the $10 billion backlog in road 
maintenance and obliteration estimated by the Forest Service for the 
transportation system within our national forests is a crisis in its 
own right. The solution to this need is not the construction of more 
roads. Further, and I realize that there is disagreement on this issue, 
I believe that roadless areas provide important habitats and are 
imperative in maintaining balance in ecosystems and should therefore, 
be left undisturbed. The areas of the national forest system in 
greatest need of attention are those that are in close proximity to 
urban centers and areas that have not been properly managed after 
resource extraction. Since the program authorized by this legislation 
is only for five years, I believe that these areas in urgent need 
should be highlighted as a priority and roadless area left untouched.
  Again, I want to thank my colleague from Oregon for his extensive 
discussions with me on this legislation. I hope that such negotiations 
will continue in the future as we discuss other legislation pertaining 
to the management of our nation's forests.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 
3530, the Forest Recovery and Protection Act. First, I would like to 
commend my colleague Rep. Smith for his efforts to reach a compromise 
and his willingness to make some pretty significant changes to his 
original proposal. While the revised version of the legislation does 
not address all my concerns, I did want to take a moment to recognize 
Rep. Smith and his staff have really made an effort to accommodate a 
number of the issues that have been raised.
  Despite the revisions, however, I still remain deeply concerned about 
the impact of this legislation on our Nation's forests, as outlined 
below.
  Is the legislation necessary? Scientists disagree strongly as to the 
current status of our forests. While I don't fee qualified to pick and 
choose between scientific assessments of forest health, I do feel 
comfortable in my understanding that the Forest Service already has the 
authorization to undertake recovery projects along the lines of those 
proposed in this legislation. No one has adequately demonstrated to me 
that our forests are in such a deplorable state that the type of 
dramatic expansion of Forest Service authority as proposed in the bill 
is necessary.
  Will the proposed prescriptions do more harm than good? Under the 
bill, a recovery project is defined in a variety of ways, including 
options I strongly support, such as riparian restoration, soil 
stabilization and water quality improvement, and seedling planting and 
protection. However, also included are projects such as the removal of 
trees to improve stand health by stopping or reducing actual or 
anticipated spread of insects or disease. Although I do understand that 
in some cases, removal of trees can be a good prescription for forest 
health, this particular option strikes me as very open-ended--
especially the suggestion that trees should be removed to stop the 
anticipated spread of insects or disease. What if we're wrong as to the 
spread of insects or disease? Once the trees are gone, it is impossible 
to put them back.
  In addition, while I appreciate Rep. Smith's efforts to ensure that 
recovery projects could not take place in wilderness, riparian, or old 
growth areas, the bill, in my opinion, still leaves open the 
possibility that entire forests could be designated for intrusive and 
environmentally harmful recover projects. It simply does not limit the 
size or scope of these proposed actions.
  Is there sufficient time available for public comment and review of 
recovery projects? The time frames in this bill are very tight, 
especially considering the unlimited magnitude of the possible 
projects. The Secretary has only 210 days to propose standards and 
criteria, and only 45 days are allowed for public comment on the 
proposed standards. The Secretary then has only 30 days to assimilate 
the comments and issue final regulations. If we are to ensure that our 
actions actually improve the health of our forests, we must allow more 
time for analysis of the standards.
  Are there built in incentives for recovery projects that remove 
trees? By focusing efforts on options that are highly ``cost-
effective'' and designating revenues from the recovery projects would 
go directly to the states, the legislation skews recovery prescriptions 
toward those that generate revenues. The revenue provision, in 
particular, builds in an incentive for State foresters (who must be 
consulted under this proposal) to suggest prescriptions that would 
provide revenue.
  Is the Scientific Advisory Board sufficiently oriented toward true 
Forest health? Under the proposal, the SAB is divided equally between 
individuals with natural science expertise who are leaders in the field 
of forest resource management, and state foresters who are versed in 
forest resource management. Obviously, this puts emphasis on those 
individuals who actively manage the forests, as opposed to those who 
might focus more on preservation. In addition, I am somewhat concerned 
about the politicized appointment process outlined in the bill. This 
could lead to less qualified individuals being members of the board, as 
well as an extremely slow selection process.
  Concerns on Advanced Recovery Projects. The bill also allows for the 
selection of Advance Recovery Projects, within 30 days after

[[Page H1660]]

the enactment of the act. I am very concerned that this provision could 
allow for implementation of large scale recovery projects in a variety 
of forests with very little scientific or public review. Again, once we 
have cut down the trees in the name of forest health, only Mother 
Nature can bring them back.
  Concerns on financing of the projects and roadless areas. Financing 
for these recovery projects would be provided through annual 
Congressional appropriations and unobligated amounts in the roads and 
trails funds. Given the $10 billion backlog of road maintenance needs, 
I am not convinced that these recovery projects would be the best use 
of these funds. In addition, I am deeply concerned that while the 
forest recovery fund does limit the use of funds for new permanent 
roads, there is no limitation on the building of temporary or even 
semi-permanent roads--even in roadless areas.
  Mr. Speaker, again I recognize that Mr. Smith has really made an 
effort to craft a bill to which we all can agree. This is not that 
bill. For the reasons outlined above I will oppose H.R. 3530, and I 
urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. SHAW. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 2870, the 
Tropical Forest Conservation Act.
  Despite international conservation efforts, clearcutting and logging 
are occurring in tropical rain forests at an astonishing rate. While I 
am aware of efforts and plans to replace these trees by replanting, I 
saw no such activity when I visited the Republic of Congo in 1997. 
Clearcutting of rainforests is particularly tragic because tropical 
rainforests, with their dense growth and high biodiversity, are home to 
the greatest number of species of any ecosystem on earth. The majority 
of these species have yet to be even identified. Moreover, humankind 
has barely scratched the surface of the uses and medicinal properties 
of those plants and animals we have already identified. Unchecked 
logging threatens the existence of thousands of species.
  Mr. Speaker, because of my trip to the Republic of Congo, I see the 
urgent need for legislation such as H.R. 2870. This ``debt-for-nature'' 
exchange would empower developing countries to fight to protect these 
vital forests against extreme logging practices. Because of the 
economic status of these developing countries, it is unlikely that the 
U.S. would ever see these debts repaid. This legislation ensures that 
the American people get something in return for their generosity.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the Tropical Forest 
Conservation Act.
  The CHAIRMAN. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the order of the House of Thursday, March 26, 1998, the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of H.R. 
3530 is considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment and 
is considered read.
  The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as 
follows:

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Forest 
     Recovery and Protection Act of 1998''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Definitions.
Sec. 4. National Pilot Program of Forest Recovery and Protection.
Sec. 5. Scientific Advisory Panel.
Sec. 6. Advance recovery projects.
Sec. 7. Monitoring plan.
Sec. 8. Forest Recovery and Protection Fund.
Sec. 9. Authorization of appropriations.
Sec. 10. Audit requirements.
Sec. 11. Forest inventorying and analysis.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) There are tradeoffs in values associated with 
     proactive, passive, or delayed forest management. The values 
     gained by proactive management outweigh the values gained by 
     delayed or passive management of certain Federal forest 
     lands.
       (2) Increases in both the number and severity of wildfire, 
     insect infestation, and disease outbreaks on Federal forest 
     lands are occurring as a result of high tree densities, 
     species composition, and structure that are outside the 
     historic range of variability. These disturbances cause or 
     contribute to significant soil erosion, degradation of air 
     and water quality, loss of watershed values, habitat loss, 
     and damage to other forest resources.
       (3) Serious destruction or degradation of important forest 
     resources occurs in all regions of the United States. 
     Management activities to restore and protect these resources 
     in perpetuity are needed in each region and should be 
     designed to address region-specific needs.
       (4) According to the Chief of the United States Forest 
     Service, between 35 and 40 million of the 191 million acres 
     of Federal forest lands managed by the Forest Service are at 
     an unacceptable risk of destruction by catastrophic wildfire. 
     The condition of these forests can pose a significant threat 
     of destruction to human life and property as well as to the 
     habitat for fish and wildlife (including threatened and 
     endangered species), public recreation areas, timber, 
     watersheds, and other important forest resources.
       (5) Restoration and protection of important forest 
     resources require active forest management involving a range 
     of management activities, including thinning, salvage, 
     prescribed fire (after appropriate thinning), sanitation and 
     other insect and disease control, riparian and other habitat 
     improvement, soil stabilization and other water quality 
     improvement, and seedling planting and protection.
       (6) Many national forest units of the National Forest 
     System have an increasing backlog of unfunded projects to 
     restore and protect degraded forest resources. Adequate 
     funding, structured so as to maximize the allocation of 
     monies for on-the-ground projects, is needed to address this 
     backlog in an efficient, cost-effective way.
       (7) A comprehensive, nationwide effort is needed to restore 
     and protect important forest resources in an organized, 
     timely, and scientific manner. There should be immediate 
     action to improve the areas of Federal forest lands where 
     serious resource degradation has been thoroughly identified 
     and assessed or where serious resource destruction or 
     degradation by natural disturbance is imminent.
       (8) Congress and the Comptroller General have identified 
     the need to increase agency accountability for achieving 
     measurable results at all levels of government, both in the 
     management of fiscal resources and in carrying out statutory 
     mandates. Additional funding to address the backlog of 
     recovery projects in the National Forest System must, 
     therefore, be accompanied by performance standards and 
     accountability mechanisms that will clearly demonstrate the 
     results achieved by any additional investment of taxpayer 
     dollars.
       (9) Frequent forest inventory and analysis of the status 
     and trends in the conditions of forests and their resources 
     are needed to identify and reverse the destruction or 
     degradation of important forest resources in a timely and 
     effective manner. The present average 12- to 15-year cycle of 
     forest inventory and analysis to comply with existing 
     statutory requirements is too prolonged to provide forest 
     managers with the data necessary to make timely and effective 
     management decisions, particularly decisions responsive to 
     changing forest conditions.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

       For purposes of this Act:
       (1) Federal forest lands.--The term ``Federal forest 
     lands'' means lands within the national forest units of the 
     National Forest System.
       (2) Fund.--The terms ``Forest Recovery and Protection 
     Fund'' and ``Fund'' mean the fund established under section 
     8.
       (3) Implementation date.--The term ``implementation date'' 
     means January 15, 2000, or the first day of the 19th full 
     month following the date of the enactment of this Act, 
     whichever is later. However, if the implementation date under 
     the second option would occur within six months of the next 
     January 15, the Secretary may designate that January 15 as 
     the implementation date.
       (4) Land management plan.--The term ``land management 
     plan'' means a land and resource management plan prepared by 
     the Forest Service pursuant to section 6 of the Forest and 
     Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 
     1604) for Federal forest lands under the jurisdiction of the 
     Secretary of Agriculture.
       (5) National pilot program.--The term ``national pilot 
     program'' means the National Pilot Program of Forest Recovery 
     and Protection required by section 4.
       (6) Overhead expenses.--The terms ``overhead expenses'' and 
     ``overhead'' mean--
       (A) common services and indirect expenses, as such terms 
     are defined by expense items 1-10 in Appendix E of the United 
     States Forest Service Timber Cost Efficiency Study Final 
     Report, dated April 16, 1993 (pages 125-126);
       (B) direct and indirect general administration expenses, as 
     such terms are identified in Appendix D of the United States 
     Forest Service Forest Management Program Annual Report, 
     Fiscal Year 1996 (FS-614), dated December, 1997 (pages 110-
     111); and
       (C) any other cost of line management or program support 
     that cannot be directly attributable to specific projects or 
     programs.
       (7) Recovery area.--The term ``recovery area'' means a 
     national forest unit of the National Forest System, 
     identified by the Secretary under section 4(c)--
       (A) that has experienced disturbances from wildfires, 
     insect infestations, disease, wind, flood, or other causes, 
     which have caused or contributed to significant soil erosion, 
     degradation of water quality, loss of watershed values, 
     habitat loss, or damage to other forest resources of the 
     area; or
       (B) in which the forest structure, function, or composition 
     has been altered so as to increase substantially the 
     likelihood of wildfire, insect infestation, or disease in the 
     area and the consequent risks of damage to soils, water 
     quality, watershed values, habitat, and other forest 
     resources from wildfire, insect infestation, disease, wind, 
     flood, or other causes.

[[Page H1661]]

       (8) Recovery project.--The term ``recovery project'' means 
     a project to improve, restore, or protect forest resources 
     within an identified recovery area, including the following 
     types of projects: riparian restoration; treatments to reduce 
     stand density for the purpose of reducing risk of 
     catastrophic loss; soil stabilization and other water quality 
     improvement; removal of dead trees or trees being damaged by 
     injurious agents other than competition; prescribed fire; 
     integrated pest management, including the removal of trees to 
     improve stand health by stopping or reducing actual or 
     anticipated spread of insects or disease; vegetative 
     treatments and other habitat improvement activities; and 
     seedling planting and protection.
       (9) Scientific advisory panel.--The term ``Scientific 
     Advisory Panel'' means the advisory panel appointed under 
     section 5.
       (10) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest 
     Service.

     SEC. 4. NATIONAL PILOT PROGRAM OF FOREST RECOVERY AND 
                   PROTECTION.

       (a) National Pilot Program Required.--Not later than the 
     implementation date, the Secretary shall commence a national 
     pilot program to restore and protect forest resources 
     located on Federal forest lands in the United States 
     through the performance of recovery projects in identified 
     recovery areas.
       (b) Standards and Criteria.--
       (1) Initial publication.--Not later than 210 days before 
     the implementation date, the Secretary shall publish in the 
     Federal Register the proposed standards and criteria to be 
     used for the identification and prioritization of recovery 
     areas. In establishing the standards and criteria, the 
     Secretary shall consider the standards and criteria 
     recommended by the Scientific Advisory Panel under section 
     5(f). The Secretary shall include in the Federal Register 
     entry required by this paragraph an explanation of any 
     significant differences between the recommendations of the 
     Scientific Advisory Panel and the standards and criteria 
     actually proposed by the Secretary.
       (2) Comment period and final publication.--Upon the 
     publication of the proposed standards and criteria under 
     paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide a 45-day period 
     for the submission of comments regarding the proposed 
     standards and criteria. Not later than 30 days after the 
     close of the comment period, the Secretary shall publish the 
     final standards and criteria in the Federal Register.
       (c) Identification of Recovery Areas.--
       (1) Initial publication.--Not later than 105 days before 
     the implementation date, the Secretary shall publish in the 
     Federal Register a list, in order of priority, of the 
     proposed recovery areas within which recovery projects are to 
     be conducted under the national program in accordance with 
     the standards and criteria established and in effect under 
     subsection (b).
       (2) Comment period and final publication.--Upon the 
     publication of the proposed recovery areas under paragraph 
     (1), the Secretary shall provide a 45-day period for the 
     submission of comments regarding the proposed recovery areas. 
     Not later than 30 days after the close of the comment period, 
     the Secretary shall publish the final list of recovery areas, 
     in order of priority, in the Federal Register.
       (3) Modification.--The Secretary may not modify the final 
     list of recovery areas published pursuant to paragraph (2).
       (d) Annual Allocation of Amounts to Recovery Areas.--
       (1) Allocation required.--Not later than the implementation 
     date, and each January 15 thereafter, the Secretary shall 
     allocate amounts from the Forest Recovery and Protection Fund 
     to regions of the Forest Service for the purpose of 
     conducting recovery projects in recovery areas identified in 
     subsection (c). In making such allocations, the Secretary 
     shall identify the total acreage nationally that the 
     Secretary expects to be treated during the fiscal year using 
     allocated amounts.
       (2) Authorized use of amounts for multi-year projects.--
     Amounts allocated by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1) 
     shall be available, without further allocation by the 
     Secretary, to carry out and administer multi-year recovery 
     projects beyond the fiscal year in which the amounts are 
     allocated by the Secretary.
       (e) Recovery Projects.--
       (1) Initiation of project level analysis.--Not later than 
     30 days after the date on which the Secretary allocates 
     amounts from the Forest Recovery and Protection Fund under 
     subsection (d), the regional forester (or the designees of 
     the regional forester) in each region to which amounts have 
     been allocated shall initiate project planning, including any 
     activities required under the National Environmental Policy 
     Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), for each recovery 
     project to be conducted during that fiscal year.
       (2) Prohibited project locations.--The regional forester 
     (or the designees of the regional forester) shall not select 
     or implement a recovery project under the authority of this 
     Act in any of the following:
       (A) Any unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System 
     or any primitive area or area identified for study for 
     possible inclusion in such system under the Wilderness Act 
     (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.).
       (B) Any riparian area, late successional reserve, or old 
     growth area within which the implementation of recovery 
     projects is prohibited by the applicable land management 
     plan.
       (C) Any other area in which the implementation of recovery 
     projects is prohibited by law, a court order, or the 
     applicable land management plan.
       (f) Requirements for Recovery Project Selection.--In 
     selecting recovery projects as required under subsection (e), 
     the regional forester (or the designees of the regional 
     forester) in each region shall--
       (1) identify for each recovery project the total acreage 
     requiring treatment, the estimated cost of preparation and 
     implementation, and the estimated project duration;
       (2) consider the economic benefits to be provided to local 
     communities as a result of each recovery project, but only to 
     the extent that such considerations are consistent with the 
     standards and criteria for recovery areas established and in 
     effect under subsection (b) and the priorities established by 
     the ranking of recovery areas under subsection (c);
       (3) ensure that each recovery project complies with the 
     land management plan applicable to the recovery area within 
     which the recovery project will be conducted;
       (4) ensure that each recovery project is designed to be 
     implemented in the most cost-effective manner, except that a 
     recovery project is not precluded simply because the cost of 
     preparing and implementing the recovery project is likely to 
     exceed the revenue derived from the recovery project; and
       (5) ensure that each recovery project will maintain or 
     enhance the ecological functions and conditions of the forest 
     in which the project will be conducted.
       (g) Annual Report to Congress.--
       (1) Report required.--Not later than the implementation 
     date, and each January 15 thereafter, the Secretary shall 
     submit to Congress a report on the identification and 
     prioritization of recovery areas required under subsection 
     (c) and the allocation of amounts from the Forest Recovery 
     and Protection Fund under subsection (d).
       (2) Report contents.--Each report required under paragraph 
     (1) shall include the following:
       (A) A breakdown of the amounts allocated to each region of 
     the Forest Service under subsection (d).
       (B) The total acreage nationally expected to be treated by 
     recovery projects during the fiscal year using amounts 
     allocated under subsection (d).
       (3) Additional requirements.--After the initial report 
     required by paragraph (1), each subsequent report shall also 
     include the following:
       (A) A list, by recovery area, of the recovery projects for 
     which planning has been initiated during the prior fiscal 
     year including, for each recovery project, the following:
       (i) A description of the management objectives of the 
     project that will be monitored for implementation and 
     effectiveness using the monitoring plan established under 
     section 7.
       (ii) The total acreage requiring treatment, the estimated 
     cost of preparation and implementation, and the estimated 
     project duration.
       (iii) The total acreage treated by the recovery project 
     during the fiscal year.
       (iv) The projected economic benefits (if any) the project 
     will provide to local communities.
       (B) An explanation of the following:
       (i) Whether the planning for recovery projects during the 
     prior fiscal year was initiated within the timeframe required 
     under subsection (e)(1) and an accounting of the steps taken 
     by the Secretary relative to the projects pursuant to the 
     requirements of section 8(d); and
       (ii) An explanation of the status of recovery projects for 
     which planning was initiated in prior fiscal years.
       (C) A list, by recovery area, of the recovery projects 
     completed during the prior fiscal year including, for each 
     recovery project, a comparison of the following:
       (i) The projected and actual management objectives achieved 
     by the project, as determined using the monitoring plan 
     established and in effect under section 7.
       (ii) The projected and actual preparation and 
     implementation costs and duration of the project.
       (iii) The projected and actual economic benefits to local 
     communities provided by the project.
       (D) A description of any additional resources or 
     authorities needed by the Secretary to implement and carry 
     out the national pilot program in an efficient and cost-
     effective manner.
       (4) Notice of availability.--Not later than the 
     implementation date, and each January 15 thereafter, the 
     Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of 
     availability of the most-recent report to Congress required 
     by this subsection.
       (h) Applicability of Federal Laws.--Nothing in this section 
     exempts any action authorized or required by this section 
     from any Federal law.

     SEC. 5. SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY PANEL.

       (a) Establishment.--There is established a panel of 
     scientific advisers to the Secretary to be known as the 
     ``Scientific Advisory Panel''.
       (b) Composition of Panel.--
       (1) Appointment from list of experts.--The Scientific 
     Advisory Panel shall consist of 11 members appointed as 
     provided in subsection (c) from a list, to be prepared by the 
     National Academy of Sciences, that consists of--

[[Page H1662]]

       (A) persons with expertise in the natural sciences who, 
     through the publication of peer-reviewed scientific 
     literature have demonstrated expertise in matters relevant to 
     forest resource management; and
       (B) State foresters (or persons with similar managerial 
     expertise) who, through the publication of peer-reviewed 
     scientific literature or other similar evidence of 
     significant scientific or professional accomplishment, have 
     demonstrated expertise in matters relevant to forest resource 
     management.
       (2) Preparation of list.--The National Academy of Sciences 
     shall prepare the list required by paragraph (1) not later 
     than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. In 
     the preparation of the list, the National Academy of Sciences 
     shall consult with scientific and professional organizations 
     whose members have relevant experience in forest resource 
     management.
       (c) Appointment Process.--The members of the Scientific 
     Advisory Panel shall be selected from the list described in 
     subsection (b) as follows:
       (1) One member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee 
     on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, in 
     consultation with the ranking minority member of the 
     Committee.
       (2) One member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee 
     on Resources of the House of Representatives, in consultation 
     with the ranking minority member of the Committee.
       (3) One member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee 
     on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, in 
     consultation with the ranking minority member of the 
     Committee.
       (4) One member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee 
     on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, in 
     consultation with the ranking minority member of the 
     Committee.
       (5) Three members appointed by the Secretary.
       (6) Four members appointed by the National Academy of 
     Sciences.
       (d) Administrative Matters.--
       (1) Time for appointment.--Appointments of members of the 
     Scientific Advisory Panel shall be made as follows:
       (A) The appointment of members under paragraphs (1) through 
     (4) of subsection (c) shall be made within 30 days after the 
     date on which the list described in subsection (b) is first 
     made available.
       (B) The appointment of members under paragraphs (5) and (6) 
     of subsection (c) shall begin after the appointments required 
     under paragraphs (1) through (4) of such subsection have been 
     made so that the persons making the appointments under 
     paragraphs (5) and (6) of such subsection can ensure that the 
     requirement specified in subsection (e) for a balanced 
     representation of scientific disciplines on the Scientific 
     Advisory Panel is satisfied. The appointments shall be 
     completed within 60 days after the date on which the list 
     described in subsection (b) is first made available.
       (2) Term and vacancies.--A member of the Scientific 
     Advisory Panel shall be appointed for a term beginning on the 
     date of the appointment and ending on the implementation 
     date. A vacancy on the Scientific Advisory Panel shall be 
     filled within 30 days in the manner in which the original 
     appointment was made.
       (3) Commencement of activity.--The Scientific Advisory 
     Panel may commence its duties under subsection (f) as soon as 
     at least eight of the members have been appointed under 
     subsection (c). At the initial meeting, the members of the 
     Scientific Advisory Panel shall select one member to serve as 
     chairperson.
       (4) Conflict of interests.--A person may not serve as a 
     member of the Scientific Advisory Panel if the member has a 
     conflict of interest with regard to any of the duties to be 
     performed by the Scientific Advisory Panel under 
     subsection (f). Decisions regarding the existence of a 
     conflict of interest shall be made by the Scientific 
     Advisory Panel.
       (e) Balanced Representation of Scientific Disciplines.--The 
     Scientific Advisory Panel shall include at least one 
     representative of each of the following:
       (1) Hydrologist.
       (2) Wildlife biologist.
       (3) Fisheries biologist.
       (4) Entomologist or pathologist.
       (5) Fire ecologist.
       (6) Silviculturist.
       (7) Economist.
       (8) Soil scientist.
       (9) State forester or person with similar managerial 
     expertise.
       (f) Duties In Connection With Implementation.--During the 
     period beginning on the initial meeting of the Scientific 
     Advisory Panel and ending on the implementation date, the 
     Scientific Advisory Panel shall be responsible for the 
     following:
       (1) The preparation and submission to the Secretary and the 
     Congress of recommendations regarding the standards and 
     criteria that should be used to identify and prioritize 
     recovery areas.
       (2) The preparation of and submission to the Secretary and 
     the Congress of recommendations regarding a monitoring plan 
     for the national pilot program of sufficient scope to monitor 
     the implementation and effectiveness of recovery projects 
     conducted under the national pilot program.
       (g) Considerations.--In the development of its 
     recommendations under subsection (f), the Scientific Advisory 
     Panel shall--
       (1) consult as appropriate with region-specific scientific 
     experts in forest ecology, hydrology, wildlife biology, 
     entomology, pathology, soil science, economics, social 
     sciences, and other appropriate scientific disciplines;
       (2) consider the most current peer-reviewed scientific 
     literature regarding the duties undertaken by the Panel; and
       (3) incorporate information gathered during the 
     implementation of the advance recovery projects required 
     under section 6.
       (h) Allocation of Forest Service Personnel.--The Forest 
     Service shall allocate administrative support staff to the 
     Scientific Advisory Panel to assist the Panel in the 
     performance of its duties as outlined in this section.
       (i) Federal Advisory Committee Act Compliance.--The 
     Scientific Advisory Panel shall be subject to sections 10 
     through 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. 
     App.).

     SEC. 6. ADVANCE RECOVERY PROJECTS.

       (a) Selection of Advance Projects.--Not later than 30 days 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
     shall allocate amounts from the Forest Recovery and 
     Protection Fund to Forest Service regions for the purpose of 
     conducting a limited number (as determined by the Secretary) 
     of advance recovery projects on Federal forest lands. The 
     regional foresters of the Forest Service (or the designees of 
     the regional foresters) shall select the advance recovery 
     projects to be carried out under this section. However, the 
     selection of an advance recovery project in a State shall be 
     made in consultation with the State forester of that State.
       (b) Selection Criteria.--In selecting advance recovery 
     projects, the regional foresters (and their designees) shall 
     comply with the requirements of subsections (e)(2) and (f) of 
     section 4 applicable to the selection of recovery projects 
     under the national pilot program. Priority shall be given to 
     projects on those Federal forest lands--
       (1) where the Regional Forester (in consultation with the 
     appropriate State forester) has identified a significant risk 
     of loss to human life and property or serious resource 
     degradation or destruction due to wildfire, disease epidemic, 
     severe insect infestation, wind, flood, or other causes; or
       (2) for which thorough forest resource assessments have 
     been completed, including Federal forest lands in the Pacific 
     Northwest, the Interior Columbia Basin, the Sierra Nevada, 
     the Southern Appalachian Region, and the northern forests of 
     Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York.
       (c) Initiation of Project Level Analysis.--Not later than 
     30 days after the date on which the Secretary allocates 
     amounts from the Forest Recovery and Protection Fund under 
     subsection (a), the regional forester (or the designees of 
     the regional forester) in each region to which amounts have 
     been allocated shall initiate project planning, including any 
     activities required under the National Environmental Policy 
     Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), for the advance 
     recovery projects to be conducted in that region.
       (d) Effect of Failure To Comply With Time Periods.--If the 
     deadline for the initiation of project planning specified 
     under subsection (c) is not met for any advance recovery 
     project, the Secretary may not use amounts in the Forest 
     Recovery and Protection Fund to carry out the project and 
     shall promptly reimburse the Fund for any expenditures 
     previously made from the Fund in connection with the project.
       (e) Reporting Requirements.--Not later than the 
     implementation date, and annually thereafter until completion 
     of all advance recovery projects, the Secretary shall submit 
     to Congress a report on the implementation of advance 
     recovery projects. The report shall consist of a description 
     of the accomplishments of each advance recovery project and 
     incorporate the requirements of section 4(g)(3).
       (f) Notice of Availability.--The Secretary shall publish in 
     the Federal Register a notice of the availability of each 
     report to Congress required by this section.
       (g) Applicability of Federal Laws.--Nothing in this section 
     exempts any advance recovery project authorized or required 
     by this section from any Federal law.

     SEC. 7. MONITORING PLAN.

       (a) Plan Required.--Not later than the implementation date, 
     the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress a 
     monitoring plan for the national pilot program of sufficient 
     scope to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of 
     recovery projects conducted under sections 4 and 6.
       (b) Recommendations of Scientific Advisory Panel.--In 
     preparing the monitoring plan required under subsection (a), 
     the Secretary shall consider the monitoring plan recommended 
     by the Scientific Advisory Panel under section 5(f). The 
     Secretary shall include with the monitoring plan submitted to 
     Congress under subsection (a) an explanation of any 
     significant differences between the recommendations of the 
     Scientific Advisory Panel and the monitoring plan actually 
     submitted to Congress.

     SEC. 8. FOREST RECOVERY AND PROTECTION FUND.

       (a) Establishment.--There is established on the books of 
     the Treasury a fund to be known as the ``Forest Recovery and 
     Protection Fund''. The Chief of the Forest Service shall be 
     responsible for administering the Fund.
       (b) Credits to Fund.--During the time period specified in 
     section 9(a), there shall be credited to the Fund the 
     following:

[[Page H1663]]

       (1) Amounts authorized for and appropriated to the Fund.
       (2) Unobligated amounts in the roads and trails fund 
     provided for in the fourteenth paragraph under the heading 
     ``FOREST SERVICE'' of the Act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 843; 
     16 U.S.C. 501) as of the date of the enactment of this Act, 
     and all amounts which would otherwise be deposited in such 
     fund after such date.
       (3) Amounts required to be reimbursed to the Fund under 
     subsection (d) or section 6(d).
       (c) Use of Fund.--
       (1) Authorized uses.--Amounts in the Fund shall be 
     available to the Secretary, without further appropriation--
       (A) to carry out the national pilot program;
       (B) to plan, carry out, and administer recovery projects 
     under sections 4 and 6;
       (C) to administer the Scientific Advisory Panel; and
       (D) to pay for the monitoring program established under 
     section 7.
       (2) Effect of completion.--Upon completion of all recovery 
     projects for which planning was initiated under section 
     4(e)(1), and the contracts identified in section 9(c), all 
     remaining amounts in the Fund shall be transferred to the 
     general fund of the Treasury.
       (d) Effect of Failure To Comply With Annual Deadlines.--
       (1) Prohibition on use of fund.--The Secretary may not use 
     amounts in the Fund--
       (A) to allocate monies to regions of the Forest Service 
     during a fiscal year under section 4(d)(1), if the deadlines 
     specified in such section are not met for that fiscal year; 
     or
       (B) to carry out a recovery project, if the final decision 
     on project planning is not initiated within the time frame 
     required by section 4(e)(1).
       (2) Fund reimbursement.--If the deadlines referred to in 
     paragraph (1)(A) are not met for a particular fiscal year, 
     the Secretary shall promptly reimburse the Fund for any 
     expenditures previously made from the Fund in connection with 
     the allocation of monies to regions of the Forest Service 
     during that fiscal year. If the time frame referred to in 
     paragraph (1)(B) is not met for a particular recovery 
     project, the Secretary shall promptly reimburse the Fund for 
     any expenditures previously made to carry out that recovery 
     project.
       (e) Limitation on Overhead and Other Expenses.--
       (1) Overhead expenses.--The Secretary shall not allocate or 
     assign overhead expenses to the Fund or to any of the 
     activities or programs authorized by sections 4 through 10.
       (2) Scientific advisory panel.--The Secretary may allocate 
     up to $1,000,000 from the Fund to finance the operation of 
     the Scientific Advisory Panel.
       (3) Monitoring plan.--The Secretary may allocate up to 
     $500,000 from the Fund during a fiscal year to implement the 
     monitoring plan established under section 7.
       (4) Prohibition on use of any funds to construct new, 
     permanent roads.--For purposes of the recovery projects 
     authorized by this Act, amounts in the Fund shall not be 
     used, either directly through direct allocations from the 
     Fund, or indirectly through allocations to recovery projects 
     from other Forest Service accounts, for the construction of 
     new, permanent roads.
       (f) Treatment of Revenues From Recovery Projects.--All 
     revenues generated by recovery projects undertaken pursuant 
     to sections 4 and 6 shall be paid, at the end of each fiscal 
     year, to the States pursuant to the formula for distribution 
     to the States under the sixth paragraph under the heading 
     ``FOREST SERVICE'' in the Act of May 23, 1908 (35 Stat. 260; 
     16 U.S.C. 500), and section 13 of the Act of March 1, 1911 
     (36 Stat. 963; commonly known as the Weeks Act; 16 U.S.C. 
     500).
       (g) Conforming Amendment.--The fourteenth paragraph under 
     the heading ``FOREST SERVICE'' of the Act of March 4, 1913 
     (37 Stat. 843; 16 U.S.C. 501), is amended by adding at the 
     end the following new sentence: ``During the term of the 
     Forest Recovery and Protection Fund, as established by 
     section 8 of the Forest Recovery and Protection Act of 1998, 
     amounts reserved under the authority of this paragraph shall 
     be deposited into that Fund.''.

     SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out 
     the provisions of this Act for the fiscal year in which this 
     Act is enacted and each fiscal year thereafter through 
     September 30, 2005, or September 30 of the fifth full fiscal 
     year following the implementation date, whichever is later.
       (b) Deposit in Fund.--All sums appropriated pursuant to 
     this section shall be deposited in the Forest Recovery and 
     Protection Fund.
       (c) Effect on Existing Projects.--Any contract regarding a 
     recovery project entered into before the end of the final 
     fiscal year specified in subsection (a), and still in effect 
     at the end of such fiscal year, shall remain in effect until 
     completed pursuant to the terms of the contract.

     SEC. 10. AUDIT REQUIREMENTS.

       (a) Annual Report Verification.--At the request of any 
     committee chairman identified in section 5(c), the 
     Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report 
     assessing the accuracy of an annual report prepared by the 
     Secretary pursuant to section 4(g). The Comptroller General's 
     report shall be completed as soon as practicable following 
     the date of the publication by the Secretary of the annual 
     report for which the request under this subsection was made.
       (b) National Pilot Program Audit.--At the request of any 
     committee chairman identified in section 5(c), the 
     Comptroller General shall conduct an audit of the national 
     pilot program at the end of the fourth full fiscal year 
     following the implementation date.
       (c) Elements of Audit.--The audit under subsection (b) 
     shall include an analysis of the following:
       (1) Whether advance recovery projects, the national pilot 
     program, and the administration of the Forest Recovery and 
     Protection Fund were carried out in a manner consistent with 
     the provisions of this Act.
       (2) The impact of the advance recovery projects conducted 
     under section 6 on the development and implementation of the 
     national pilot program.
       (3) The extent to which the recommendations of the 
     Scientific Advisory Panel were used to develop the standards 
     and criteria established under section 4(b) and the 
     monitoring plan under section 7.
       (4) The extent to which the Secretary has carried out the 
     monitoring plan required under section 7 and the extent to 
     which the monitoring plan has been successful in monitoring 
     the implementation and effectiveness of recovery projects.
       (5) The current and projected future financial status of 
     the Forest Recovery and Protection Fund.
       (6) Any cost savings or efficiencies achieved under the 
     national pilot program.
       (7) Any other aspect of the implementation of this Act 
     considered appropriate by the chairman or chairmen requesting 
     the audit.

     SEC. 11. FOREST INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS.

       (a) Program Required.--The Secretary shall establish a 
     program to inventory and analyze, in a timely manner, public 
     and private forests in the United States.
       (b) Annual State Inventory.--Subject to subsection (c), not 
     later than the end of each full fiscal year beginning after 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
     prepare for each State, in cooperation with the State 
     forester for that State, an inventory of the forests in that 
     State. For purposes of preparing the inventory for a State, 
     the Secretary shall measure annually 20 percent of all sample 
     plots that are included in the inventory program for that 
     State. Upon completion of each annual inventory, the 
     Secretary shall make available to the public a compilation of 
     all data collected from the year's measurements of sample 
     plots and any analysis of such samples.
       (c) Modifications.--At the request of the State forester 
     (or equivalent State officer) of a State, the Secretary may 
     modify for that State the time interval for preparing forest 
     inventories, the percentage of sample plots to be measured 
     annually, or the requirements for making data available to 
     the public required under subsection (b), except that 100 
     percent of the sample plots in the inventory program for that 
     State shall be measured, appropriate analysis of such samples 
     shall be conducted, and corresponding data shall be compiled 
     during the time intervals described in subsection (d).
       (d) 5-Year Reports.--At intervals not greater than every 
     five full fiscal years after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary shall prepare, publish, and make 
     available to the public a report, prepared in cooperation 
     with State foresters, that--
       (1) contains a description of each State inventory of 
     forests, incorporating all sample plot measurements conducted 
     during the five years covered by the report;
       (2) displays and analyzes on a nationwide basis the results 
     of the State reports required by subsection (b); and
       (3) contains an analysis of forest health conditions and 
     trends over the previous two decades, with an emphasis on 
     such conditions and trends during the period subsequent to 
     the immediately preceding report under this subsection.
       (e) National Standards and Definitions.--To ensure uniform 
     and consistent data collection for all public and private 
     forest ownerships and each State, the Secretary shall 
     develop, in consultation with State foresters and Federal 
     land management agencies not within the jurisdiction of the 
     Secretary, and publish national standards and definitions to 
     be applied in inventorying and analyzing forests under this 
     section. The standards shall include a core set of variables 
     to be measured on all sample plots under subsection (b) and a 
     standard set of tables to be included in the reports under 
     subsection (d).
       (f) Protection for Private Property Rights.--The Secretary 
     shall obtain written authorization from property owners prior 
     to collecting data from sample plots located on private 
     property pursuant to subsections (b) and (c). Nothing in this 
     section shall be construed to authorize the Secretary 
     (directly or through the use of State foresters or other 
     persons) to regulate privately held forest lands, the use of 
     privately held forest lands, or the resources located on 
     privately held forest lands.
       (g) Strategic Plan.--Not later than 180 days after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prepare and 
     submit to Congress a strategic plan to implement and carry 
     out this section, including the annual updates required by 
     subsection (b), any modifications made to pursuant to 
     subsection (c), and the reports required by subsection (d). 
     The strategic plan shall describe in detail the following:

[[Page H1664]]

       (1) The financial resources required to implement and carry 
     out this section, including the identification of any 
     resources required in excess of the amounts provided for 
     forest inventorying and analysis in recent appropriations 
     Acts.
       (2) The personnel necessary to implement and carry out this 
     section, including any personnel in addition to personnel 
     currently performing inventorying and analysis functions.
       (3) The organization and procedures necessary to implement 
     and carry out this section, including proposed coordination 
     with Federal land management agencies and State foresters.
       (4) The schedules for annual sample plot measurements in 
     each State inventory required by subsection (b), as modified 
     for that State under subsection (c), within the first five-
     year interval after the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (5) The core set of variables to be measured in each sample 
     plot under subsections (b) and (c) and the standard set of 
     tables to be used in each State and national report under 
     subsection (d).
       (6) The process for employing, in coordination with the 
     Department of Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration, remote sensing, global positioning systems, 
     and other advanced technologies to carry out this section, 
     and the subsequent use of such technologies.

  The CHAIRMAN. The bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-
minute rule for a period not to extend beyond 1:30 p.m. today.
  During consideration of the bill for amendment, the Chair may accord 
priority and recognition to a member offering an amendment that he has 
printed in the designated place in the Congressional Record. Those 
amendments will be considered read.
  The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole may postpone a request for 
a recorded vote on any amendment and may reduce to a minimum of 5 
minutes the time for voting on any postponed question that immediately 
follows another vote, provided that the time for voting on the first 
question shall be a minimum of 15 minutes.
  Are there any amendments to the bill?


                Amendment Offered by Mr. Smith of Oregon

  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I offer a technical amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Smith of Oregon:
       Page 33, beginning on line 4, strike section 11.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, quickly, this is the Forest 
Inventory Analysis portion of this bill, which has already been 
included in the research bill, which has been conferenced and is 
rapidly on its way to the President. It is a very important part of 
this whole program, yet it is unnecessary in this bill, and therefore, 
the reason to strike.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The CHAIRMAN. Are there further amendments?
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  I have an amendment in the nature of a substitute drafted, but I do 
not intend to offer it. The substitute would enable the bill's 
proponents to do what they claim they want to do: get a bill signed 
into law. This substitute makes some simple changes to the bill, which 
would not impair the program, but that would allow the bill to be 
signable.

                              {time}  1130

  The substitute will protect forests and people. The bill, I am 
afraid, will end up helping no one. Only ideology stands between the 
House and a signable bill that will improve the health of our Nation's 
forests.
  My substitute makes three changes in the original bill. The first 
would prevent the construction of new roads under this bill. This is 
the change I had planned to offer in my original amendment that was 
printed in the Record.
  Let me be clear. My roads provision deals only with road construction 
under the program created by this bill. It would have no impact on road 
construction under any other Forest Service program, so I hope we can 
have a debate on this that focuses solely on the issue at hand; that 
is, should road building be a part of the forest health program in this 
bill? I think the answer is clearly no.
  Forest health problems occur primarily in areas where logging has 
occurred. Those areas already are accessible by roads. Therefore, if 
this bill is designed to remedy forest health problems, there is no 
reason to build any roads. The only reason to build roads would be to 
facilitate more logging, including in roadless areas, and the bill's 
sponsors claim that that is not the purpose of the bill.
  I am sure the chairman will point out that this bill already bans the 
construction of permanent roads. That is true. The inclusion of that 
language was a significant concession on his part. But temporary roads 
are almost as damaging as permanent ones. They can cause erosion and 
other problems while they are in use, and for years thereafter. As 
erosion increases, streams are damaged. As one environmentalist said to 
me, the fish do not know whether the road is permanent or temporary.
  The bill as it stands allows environmental degradation to occur 
without any balancing benefit. The temporary roads will cause 
ecological damage, but they are not needed to fulfill the purposes of 
this bill.
  Everyone around here who sings the praises of cost-benefit analysis 
ought to be appalled by a cost-benefit ratio where the benefit is zero. 
My substitute will ensure that we do not build roads under a program 
that does not require them.
  My second change would be a boon to the American taxpayer. Under the 
bill, any revenues generated by timber sales under the health program 
go to the States. This is bad in two ways. First, it deprives the 
Federal taxpayer of revenues gained from national, that is Federal, 
forests. No existing Forest Service programs return all revenues to the 
States.
  Second, the bill's scheme creates an incentive to log in a program 
that is not designed to promote logging. Under the bill, State and 
local officials will pressure the Forest Service to log to give more 
revenue. We want decisions on logging to be based on forest sites, not 
local economics.
  Third, my substitute makes a number of technical changes, many of 
which had already been welcomed by the staff of the Committee on 
Agriculture. Some of these changes are of greater advantage to the 
bill's sponsors than they are to the opponents, but their primary 
impact is to guarantee all existing environmental reviews are carried 
out under this new program. That is the sponsors' stated intent, and 
these changes would ensure that their intent is realized.
  This substitute presents Congress with a simple choice: we can 
function as an ideological debating society, spending time on bills 
that cannot possibly become law, like the bill before us today, or we 
can make some changes that ensure that this forest health program 
actually functions as described, and that the program actually becomes 
law. To me, that seems like an easy choice.
  I am not going to offer this substitute because it has been developed 
at the last minute, out of necessity, because of the dynamics of this 
process, with changes being made from hour to hour. But it demonstrates 
how easy it would have been to craft a signable bill. I urge defeat of 
this bill so we can start again and end up with a law that will make a 
difference.
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last 
word.
  Mr. Chairman, first I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Boehlert) for all of the work he has attempted to do on this 
legislation and the substitute that he was working on, because I think 
he addressed a number of important problems that certainly are not 
cured or addressed in this legislation, the most fundamental of which 
is the roads and the ability to go into roadless areas under this 
legislation.
  As we have heard time and again in our committee, the most degrading 
conditions in the forest are those due to past mismanagement, which 
include the clear-cutting of old growth, and which leads, then, to very 
crowded, less fire-resistant, disease resistant second growth, the 
roadbuildings, overgrazing of these lands, and the fire suppression 
policies.
  We do not need roads to go back and to improve the health of those 
forests and restore them to make them viable for us. This legislation 
does not do that. Instead, this legislation pushes forward, including 
road construction, in the name of forest health.
  I think the point is this, that this legislation works on the premise 
that

[[Page H1665]]

the only way you can restore the health to the forest is to engage in 
large-scale commercial logging once again to improve forest health. All 
of the past practices over the past 50 years suggest that it is just 
the opposite of that, that that is exactly what got us into this 
crisis. It was not just that these forests all of a sudden have become 
susceptible to fire and diseases, but because of the management in the 
past, that relied heavily on commercial logging that far outstripped 
the sustainability of the forests to engage in that level of cut.
  Somebody said earlier that they wanted us to remember that trees are 
renewable resources. I would like to take them to vast areas of 
southern Oregon, vast areas of northern California, where 30 years ago, 
20 years ago, 15 years ago, trees were replanted because of the cuts on 
steep grades, and in unsustainable levels. They planted trees.
  If you go out on those 30-year cuts you will find those trees barely 
come up to your knees. Why? Because the manner in which they practiced 
forestry, they cut down the trees, the top soil gets washed down into 
the streams, it kills the streams, kills the fishery, and the 
replanting has no value. It has no value.
  What are we left with? We are left with high elevation desert 
landscapes that are denuded of any ability to support forests. Do 
Members know what? The Forest Service and the timber industry count 
those replants as sustaining the yields so that it can cut more trees, 
because they say in 30 years those trees will be on line. It is 30 
years, Mr. Chairman, and those trees are not fit for a Christmas tree 
in a one-room apartment, but they want to pretend that somehow that is 
commercial forests, and the way to get these forests healthy is to 
continue that process.
  It has been discredited. This Congress has refused to engage in that 
practice. We went through a great deal of pain in the Pacific 
Northwest, in the State of California because of this kind of 
mismanagement, and in other areas of the Rocky Mountain northern tier. 
We are not going to go back to those days. It is not supported by our 
communities, it is not supported by the constituents throughout our 
States.
  Mr. Chairman, this legislation in fact again allows large-scale 
commercial timbering in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We have received 
report after report in recent times here that the Sierra Nevada is 
absolutely a fragile forest, that we have to make some very difficult 
decisions if we are going to maintain any of the late succession of old 
growth forest, if we are going to retain any of the ancient forests in 
the Sierra Nevada.
  Yet, this legislation will allow them as part of these plans to push 
right on into those roadless areas, the last vestiges we have in a 
State of 30 million people, a State soon to be at 45 million people, 
that want to use these forests with their families for a whole series 
of multiple uses. They do not want them sacrificed under a disguised 
salvage policy.
  This Nation looked on in shock as this country was shut down over a 
salvage rider on an appropriations bill, as we shut down the government 
when the President would not accept it. They could not believe that 
would happen. Finally, we sorted it out and Congress rejected that 
approach to forest practices.
  This legislation is designed to go back to those practices. They have 
dressed it all up, they have camouflaged it the best they can, but we 
are back to basic salvage policy.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from California (Mr. Miller) 
has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Miller of California was allowed to 
proceed for 2 additional minutes.)
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, we are back to the basic 
problems. Not only do they raid the national forests with the practice 
allowed under this legislation, they raid the national Treasury. They 
raid the national Treasury, because all of the money that would be 
derived from selling these trees is not put into the Treasury for the 
taxpayers of this country, who paid for this function, who you are 
asking to put up $100 million over the next 5 years. They do not get a 
return on the money they put. No. We give it to the local community, to 
try to provide an incentive to cut more trees. That makes no sense at 
all. It makes no sense at all, and we should not do it.
  Finally, let me say that this continues the process of creating 
unappropriated funds. Without regard to annual appropriations, a fund 
is created here. We sat in shock, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, and 
conservatives, in our committee hearing yesterday, members of the 
Committee on the Budget, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee 
on Resources, as we listened to the Inspector General, the CRS, the GAO 
tell us of the shambles, the unaccountability, the loss, the waste, the 
abuse of money within these funds that no longer come back to Congress 
and are accountable. We ought not to create those funds and re-create 
that mistake.
  For reasons of fiscal policy, for reason of forestry policy, this 
legislation should be rejected. This is legislation that cannot be 
fixed. Members ought to vote against it.


                     Amendment Offered by Mr. Bass

  Mr. BASS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Bass:
       Add at the end the following new section:

     SEC.  . NORTHERN FOREST STEWARDSHIP.

       (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the 
     ``Northern Forest Stewardship Act''.
       (b) Declarations.--Congress declares as follows:
       (1) The 26,000,000-acre Northern Forest region is an 
     extraordinary resource. The forests in the region are rich in 
     natural resources and values cherished by residents and 
     visitors: timber, fiber, and wood for forest products and 
     energy supporting successful businesses and providing stable 
     jobs for residents; lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams 
     unspoiled by pollution or crowding human development; tracts 
     of land for wildlife habitat and recreational use, and 
     protected areas to help preserve the biological integrity of 
     the region. This section is enacted to implement the Northern 
     Forest Lands Council's vision of the Northern Forest as a 
     landscape of interlocking parts and pieces, reinforcing each 
     other: local communities, industrial forest land, family and 
     individual ownerships, small woodlots, recreation land, and 
     public and private conservation land.
       (2) Current land ownership and management patterns have 
     served the people and forests of the region well, but 
     conditions that up to now have conserved the Northern Forest 
     are no longer capable of ensuring perpetuation of the 
     forests; public policies relating to the Northern Forest 
     should seek to reinforce rather than replace the patterns of 
     ownership and use of large, unbroken forest areas that have 
     characterized the land in the Northern Forest for decades.
       (3) This section effectuates certain recommendations of the 
     Northern Forest Lands Council that were developed with broad 
     public input and the involvement of Federal, State, and local 
     governments. The actions described in this section to 
     implement those recommendations are most appropriately 
     directed by the Northern Forest States, with assistance from 
     the Federal Government, as requested by the States. 
     Implementation of the recommendations should be guided by the 
     fundamental principles laid out by the Northern Forest Lands 
     Council report. Those principles provide the foundation for 
     the intent of this section: to support the primary role of 
     the Northern Forest States in the management of their 
     forests, to support the traditions of the region, to 
     emphasize the rights and responsibilities of the landowners, 
     and to advance new mechanisms for cooperative conservation of 
     the Northern Forest lands and its resources for future 
     generations.
       (c) Support for Sustainable Forest Management.--At the 
     request of the Governor of the State of Maine, New Hampshire, 
     New York, or Vermont, the Secretary of Agriculture, acting 
     through the Chief of the Forest Service, may provide 
     technical assistance under the Cooperative Forestry Act of 
     1978 (16 U.S.C. 2101 et seq.) to--
       (1) support a State-based process, directed by the State, 
     to define benchmarks of sustainability for a variety of 
     forest types to achieve the principles of sustainability 
     developed by the Northern Forest Lands Council;
       (2) publicize, explain the application of, and distribute 
     the benchmarks to forest landowners; and
       (3) educate the public that timber harvesting is a 
     responsible forest use so long as the long-term ability of 
     the forest to continue producing timber and other benefits is 
     maintained.
       (d) Northern Forest Research Cooperative.--At the request 
     of the Governor of the State of Maine, New Hampshire, New 
     York, or Vermont, the Secretary of Agriculture (acting 
     through the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station and the 
     Chief of the Forest Service) may work with the State, the 
     land grant universities of the State, natural resource and 
     forestry schools, other Federal agencies, and other 
     interested parties in assisting the State in coordinating 
     ecological and economic research, including--

[[Page H1666]]

       (1) research on ecosystem health, forest management, 
     product development, economics, and related fields;
       (2) research to help the States and landowners achieve the 
     principles of sustainability under subsection (c) as 
     recommended by the Northern Forest Lands Council;
       (3) technology transfer to the wood products industry on 
     efficient processing, pollution prevention, and energy 
     conservation;
       (4) dissemination of existing and new information to 
     landowners, public and private resource managers, State 
     forest citizen advisory committees, and the general public 
     through professional associations, publications, and other 
     information clearinghouse activities; and
       (5) analysis of strategies for the protection of areas of 
     outstanding ecological significance, high biodiversity, and 
     the provision of important recreational opportunities, 
     including strategies for areas identified through State land 
     conservation planning processes.
       (e) Interstate Coordination Strategy.--At the request of 2 
     or more of the Governors of the States of Maine, New 
     Hampshire, New York, or Vermont, the Secretary of 
     Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, 
     may make a representative available to meet with 
     representatives of the States to coordinate the 
     implementation of Federal and State policy recommendations 
     identified in the Northern Forest Lands Council report.
       (f) Land Conservation.--
       (1) Federal assistance.--At the request of the Governor of 
     the State of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or New York, the 
     Secretary of Agriculture (acting through the Chief of the 
     Forest Service) and the Secretary of the Interior (acting 
     through the Director of the National Park Service and 
     Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service) may 
     provide technical and financial assistance for a State-
     managed public land conservation planning process and land 
     conservation initiatives directed by the State that employ a 
     variety of conservation tools, consistent with the 
     recommendations of the Northern National Forest Lands 
     Council.
       (2) Program development.--The planning process for a State 
     described in paragraph (1) shall establish a goal-oriented 
     land conservation program that includes, at the discretion of 
     the Governor--
       (A) identification of, and setting of priorities for the 
     acquisition of, fee or less-than-fee interests in exceptional 
     and important lands, in accordance with criteria set by the 
     State that are consistent with the recommendations of 
     Northern Forest Lands Council, including--
       (i) places offering outstanding recreational opportunities, 
     including locations for hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, 
     camping, and other forms of back-country recreation;
       (ii) recreational access to river and lake shorelines;
       (iii) land supporting vital ecological functions and 
     values;
       (iv) habitats for rare, threatened, or endangered natural 
     communities, plants, or wildlife;
       (v) areas of outstanding scenic value and significant 
     geological features; and
       (vi) working private forest lands that are of such 
     significance or so threatened by conversion that conservation 
     easements should be purchased;
       (B) acquisition of land and interests in land only from 
     willing sellers, with community support consistent with 
     Federal, State, and local laws applicable in each State on 
     the date of enactment of this Act;
       (C) involvement of local governments and landowners in the 
     planning process in a meaningful way that acknowledges their 
     concerns about public land acquisition;
       (D) recognition that zoning, while an important land use 
     mechanism, is not an appropriate substitution for 
     acquisition;
       (E) assurances that unilateral eminent domain will be used 
     only with the consent of the landowner to clear title and 
     establish purchase prices;
       (F) efficient use of public funds by purchasing only the 
     rights necessary to best identify and protect exceptional 
     values;
       (G) consideration of the potential impacts and benefits of 
     land and easement acquisition on local and regional 
     economies;
       (H) consideration of the necessity of including costs of 
     future public land management in the assessment of overall 
     costs of acquisition;
       (I) minimization of adverse tax consequences to 
     municipalities by making funds available to continue to pay 
     property taxes based at least on current use valuation of 
     parcels acquired, payments in lieu of taxes, user fee 
     revenues, or other benefits, where appropriate;
       (J) identification of the potential for exchanging public 
     land for privately held land of greater public value; and
       (K) assurances that any land or interests inland that are 
     acquired are used and managed for their intended purposes.
       (3) Willing seller.--No Federal funds made available to 
     carry out this section may be expended for acquisition of 
     private or public property unless the owner of the property 
     willingly offers the property for sale.
       (4) Land acquisition.--
       (A) Funding.--After completion of the planning process 
     under paragraph (2), a Federal and State cooperative land 
     acquisition project under this section may be carried out 
     with funding provided in partnership with the Federal 
     Government or with funding provided by both the Federal 
     Government and a State government.
       (B) Objectives.--A cooperative land acquisition project 
     funded under this section shall promote State land 
     conservation objectives that correspond with the 
     recommendations of the Northern Forest Lands Council.
       (5) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated under sections 5 and 6 of the Land and 
     Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l-7, 460l-
     8) such sums as are necessary to carry out the purposes 
     described in this subsection.
       (g) Sense of Congress Concerning Federal Tax Policy.--It is 
     the sense of Congress that--
       (1) certain Federal tax policies work against the long-term 
     ownership, management, and conservation of forest land in the 
     Northern Forest region; and
       (2) Congress and the President should enact additional 
     legislation to address those tax policies as soon as 
     possible.
       (h) Landowner Liability Exemption.--
       (1) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (A) many landowners keep their land open and available for 
     responsible recreation; and
       (B) private lands help provide important forest-based 
     recreation opportunities for the public in the Northern 
     Forest region.
       (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     States and other interested persons should pursue initiatives 
     that--
       (A) strengthen relief-from-liability laws to protect 
     landowners that allow responsible public recreational use of 
     their lands;
       (B) update relief-from-liability laws to establish hold-
     harmless mechanisms for landowners that open their land to 
     public use, including provision for payment by the State of 
     the costs of a landowner's defense against personal injury 
     suits and of the costs of repairing property damage and 
     removing litter;
       (C) provide additional reductions in property taxes for 
     landowners that allow responsible public recreational use of 
     their lands;
       (D) provide for purchases by the State of land in fee and 
     of temporary and permanent recreation easements and leases, 
     including rights of access;
       (E) foster State and private cooperative recreation 
     agreements;
       (F) create recreation coordinator and landowner liaison and 
     remote ranger positions in State government to assist in the 
     management of public use of private lands and provide 
     recreation opportunities and other similar services;
       (G) strengthen enforcement of trespass, antilittering, and 
     antidumping laws;
       (H) improve recreation user education programs; and
       (I) improve capacity in State park and recreation agencies 
     to measure recreational use (including types, amounts, 
     locations, and concentrations of use) and identify and 
     address trends in use before the trends create problems.
       (i) Nongame Conservation.--
       (1) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (A) private landowners often manage their lands in ways 
     that produce a variety of public benefits, including wildlife 
     habitat; and
       (B) there should be more incentives for private landowners 
     to exceed current forest management standards and 
     responsibilities under Federal laws.
       (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     Congress should make it a priority to consider legislation 
     that supports the conservation of nongame fish and wildlife 
     and associated recreation activities on public and private 
     lands and does not replace, substitute, or duplicate existing 
     laws that support game fish and wildlife.
       (j) Water Quality.--At the request of the Governor of the 
     State of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, or Vermont, the 
     Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in 
     cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture and the 
     Secretary of the Interior, may provide technical and 
     financial assistance to assess water quality trends within 
     the Northern Forest region.
       (k) Rural Community Assistance.--
       (1) In general.--At the request of the Governor of the 
     State of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, or Vermont, the 
     Secretary of Agriculture may provide technical and financial 
     assistance to the State, working in partnership with the 
     forest products industry, local communities, and other 
     interests to develop technical and marketing capacity within 
     rural communities for realizing value-added opportunities in 
     the forest products sector.
       (2) Rural community assistance program.--Subject to the 
     availability of appropriations, funds from the rural 
     community assistance program under paragraph (1) shall be 
     directed to support State-based public and private 
     initiatives to--
       (A) strengthen partnerships between the public and private 
     sectors and enhance the viability of rural communities;
       (B) develop technical capacity in the utilization and 
     marketing of value-added forest products; and
       (C) develop extension capacity in delivering utilization 
     and marketing information to forest-based businesses.
       (l) No New Authority to Regulate Land Use.--
       (1) No new authority.--Nothing in this section creates new 
     authority in any Federal agency to regulate the use of 
     private or public land in any State.
       (2) No effect on other law.--Nothing in this section 
     affects, modifies, or amends any

[[Page H1667]]

     law regarding the management of any Federally owned land 
     within the boundaries of any Federal unit.
       (m) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out 
     subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), (j), and (k) of this section 
     and section 2371 of the Rural Economic Development Act of 
     1990 (7 U.S.C. 6601) in the States of Maine, New Hampshire, 
     New York, and Vermont.

  Mr. BASS (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent 
that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
New Hampshire?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BASS. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer the Northern Forest 
Stewardship Act as an amendment to the forest health bill offered by 
the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith). This amendment will give the 
States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, the tools they need 
to provide for the long-term management of their forests.
  The amendment I am offering today grew from the 1994 report of the 
Northern Forest Lands Council, which the gentleman from Mississippi 
mentioned in his opening statement. The Council was congressionally 
mandated in 1991, and tasked with determining the best way to preserve 
the unique forests that exist across the northern portion of these four 
States.
  The product of the Council's work was a report that recognizes the 
importance of promoting responsible, private stewardship of forest 
lands, and utilizing government resources to ensure that these lands 
remain commercially and aesthetically productive for generations to 
come.
  During development of the Council's report, nearly 3,000 people 
attended nearly 20 listening sessions and 12 open houses. Furthermore, 
the Council received 1,676 comments on the draft report, many from 
Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and 165 from other States 
outside of New England.
  The amendment that I am offering today is based on the report of the 
Council, which recognizes the current land management in the region, 
where most of the forest land is privately held, has been successful. 
The amendment seeks to reinforce these patterns of responsible land 
management.
  The specific recommendations were developed with broad public input, 
involvement of Federal, State and local governments, and the goal of 
these provisions is, and I quote from the amendment, to ``support the 
primary role of the Northern Forest States in the management of their 
forests, to support the traditions of the region, to emphasize the 
rights and responsibilities of the landowners, and to advance new 
mechanisms for cooperative conservation of the Northern Forest lands.''
  To make clear that the bill is not intended to inject more Federal 
government into land management, each substitute section of this 
amendment begins with the words ``At the request of the Governor of the 
State of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, or Vermont,'' and goes on from 
there.
  Furthermore, Section 12 specifically states, ``Nothing in this act 
creates new authority in any Federal agency to regulate the use of 
private or public lands.'' In short, Mr. Chairman, this bill comes from 
the State and local level, not the Federal level, and will only provide 
benefits at the State and local level.
  Some may be concerned that this bill has not been fully vetted in the 
hearing process. To this I respond that it has been fully vetted at the 
local level. The Northern Forest Lands Council held hundreds and 
hundreds of hours of public hearing on this bill, on this concept, and 
the open process has allowed all interested parties to participate.
  Another concern I have heard is that the language of this bill is a 
land grab. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the 
amendment specifically states that the Federal Government can only 
engage in land acquisition at the request of the State, and with a 
willing seller.
  Furthermore, any acquisition that occurs as a result of this 
amendment must have community support, a provision that will make the 
conservation efforts in the northern forests even more locally driven.

                              {time}  1145

  Mr. Chairman, earlier, at the end of the summer last year, I traveled 
to the States of Wyoming and Montana and Idaho, and I know and I 
understand the problems that they face. We also have problems in the 
Northeast. We have national forests. Sixteen percent of my district is 
a national forest, and we need to plan for the good and proper use of 
these forests over the next 20 to 30 years, not only the national 
forests but the land outside of those forests.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to accept this amendment to the 
bill before us today.
  Mr. BASS. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my 
amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
New Hampshire?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. FURSE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  (Ms. FURSE asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. FURSE. Mr. Chairman, I just would like to address a couple of 
issues. I want to congratulate the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Boehlert) on trying to bring this scientific management to the issue 
before us. We do need scientific management of our forests, but forest 
management is a far more complicated issue than flying over a forest in 
a helicopter. What we have to understand is that it is complicated by 
many, many factors.
  One of the factors is whether or not logging, large-scale logging, 
will raise the temperature of the streams in which our salmon spawn. 
Well, is that just an environmental issue? No, it is an economic issue, 
because all across the West we are finding that the families who have 
relied on fishing as a livelihood, that has been diminished because of 
the diminishment of the ecology in which those salmon spawn.
  Logging has a tremendous effect on salmon and so does forest 
management, but I will admit freely that I am not a scientist. So I 
have looked carefully at a letter which was sent by 100 scientists. On 
this list there is a scientist from every university, I would suppose, 
from every university in this country. This is not a western scientist 
group or an eastern scientist group. They are throughout the country.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to just quote from them because they are the 
people who understand the complexity of this issue.
  They say that, H.R. 2515 is reminiscent of the ``Salvage Logging 
Rider.'' They say that it would create community disharmony and less 
healthy forests. They go on to say, and I am quoting, ``There is little 
scientific evidence that the national forests are suffering from a 
widespread forest health crisis.'' They go on to say, ``Moreover, 
ecological problems in our national forests are not going to be 
addressed by increased commercial logging. Not only is salvage logging 
not necessary for forest restoration, it can cause additional damage to 
watersheds and fish and wildlife habitats, as well as increased 
severity and probability of uncontrolled natural fire.''
  Mr. Speaker, I get outside the quote to remind my colleague from 
Montana, who brought up the whole idea of forest fires, this letter 
goes on to say, ``Scientists with the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project 
have said that logging has increased fire severity more than any other 
human activity due to increased fuel accumulation and changes in local 
microclimate.''
  From the Pacific Northwest, a scientific assessment by the Federal 
Government's Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project found 
that current salvage logging practices are, quote, ``not compatible 
with contemporary ecosystem management.''
  The scientists go on to say that where there are problems in the 
forest, ``The Forest Service already has the authority to undertake the 
appropriate activities.'' They say for these reasons, new legislation 
that provides a broad mandate to institute, quote, ``recovery 
projects'' on potentially very large national forest areas is not 
needed.
  They end by saying, and I quote: ``We hope you will seriously 
consider our concerns about H.R. 2515. This is not legislation that 
will protect forest ecosystems, and it should not be passed by the 
United States Congress.'' I end the quote.

[[Page H1668]]

  Mr. Chairman, these are the words of scientists, not of people here 
in Washington, D.C. These are scientists on the ground, in our 
universities, and I think we should listen to them.
  Mr. Chairman, I submit the following for the Record.

  Over 100 Scientists Oppose the ``Forest Protection and Restoration 
                                 Act''

       Kenneth P. Able, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University 
     of Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York; Susan B. Adams, Ph.D. 
     Candidate, Flathead Lake Biological Station; David E. Allen, 
     Ph.D., College of Business, Northern Michigan University, 
     Marquette, Michigan; Professor R. Thomas Alley, Ph.D., 
     Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina; G. Thomas 
     Bancroft, Ph.D., Vice President, Ecology and Economics 
     Research Department, The Wilderness Society, Washington, 
     D.C.; Richard C. Banks, Ph.D., USGS Patuxent Wildlife 
     Research Center, Washington, D.C.; Robert G. Beason, Ph.D., 
     State University of New York, Geneseo, New York; Craig W. 
     Benkman, Ph.D., Department of Biology, New Mexico State 
     University, Las Cruces, New Mexico; David H. Benzing, Ph.D., 
     Department of Biology, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; David 
     E. Blockstein, Ph.D., The Ornithological Council, Washington, 
     D.C.; Daniel T. Blumstein, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, 
     Department of Systematics and Ecology, University of Kansas, 
     Lawrence, Kansas; P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D., Professor of 
     Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; 
     Richard Bradley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Zoology, Ohio 
     State University, Marion Ohio; Richard Brewer, Ph.D., Western 
     Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Len Broberg, Ph.D., 
     Environmental Studies Program, University of Montana, 
     Missoula, Montana; Paul R. Cabe, Ph.D., Biology Department 
     and Environmental Studies Faculty, Saint Olaf College, 
     Northfield, Minnesota; William A. Calder, Ph.D., Department 
     of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 
     Tucson, Arizona; Kenneth L. Campbell, Ph.D., Department of 
     Biology, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Boston, 
     Massachusetts; Christopher Camuto, Author, Buena Vista, 
     Virginia; Jot D. Carpenter, FASLA, Professor of Landscape 
     Architecture, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
       Douglas R. Cornett, Ph.D., Biologist, Northwoods Wilderness 
     Recovery, Inc., Marquette, Michigan; Robert R. Curry, Ph.D., 
     Watershed Institute, California State University, Monterey, 
     California; Calvin DeWitt, Ph.D., Institute for Environmental 
     Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Director, Au Sable 
     Institute, Madison, Wisconsin; Chris Elphick, Ph.D., 
     University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada; George W. Folkerts, 
     Ph.D., Professor of Zoology and Wildlife Science, Auburn 
     University, Auburn, Alabama; Christopher A. Frissell, Ph.D., 
     Flathead Lake Biological Station, The University of Montana, 
     Polson, Montana; Barrie K. Gilbert, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, 
     Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Utah State University, 
     Logan, Utah; Nancy B. Grimm, Ph.D., Arizona State University, 
     Tempe, Arizona; Richard S. Grippo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 
     of Environmental Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, 
     Arkansas State University, State University, Arkansas; R. 
     Edward Grumbine, Ph.D., Sierra Institute, University of 
     California Extension, Santa Cruz, California; Andrew Gunther, 
     Ph.D., Vice President, Applied Marine Science, Inc., 
     Livermore, California; Steven P. Hamburg, Ph.D., Ittleson 
     Associate Professor, Environmental Studies and Biology, Brown 
     University, Providence, Rhode Island; Jeremy Hatch, Ph.D., 
     University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts; Gene 
     Helfman, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; 
     Deborah B. Hill, Ph.D., Professor/Forestry Extension 
     Specialist, Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky, 
     Lexington, Kentucky; Professor Gerald E. Hite, Ph.D., Texas 
     A University, Galveston, Texas; James R. Hodgeson, Ph.D., 
     Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, Department of 
     Biology, Division of Natural Sciences, St. Norbert College, 
     De Pere, Wisconsin; D. E. Holt, Test Systems Engineer, B.S. 
     and M.S. Education, B.S. and M.S. Physics, MBA; Robert W. 
     Howe, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Natural and 
     Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green 
     Bay, Wisconsin.
       Robert M. Hughes, Ph.D., Regional Aquatic Ecologist, 
     Dynamic Corporation, Corvallis, Oregon; Tim Hunkapillar, 
     Ph.D., Department of Molecular Biotechnology, University of 
     Washington, Seattle, Washington; Timothy Ingalsbee, Ph.D., 
     Director, Western Fire Ecology Center, Fall Creek, Oregon; 
     Thomas Jervis, Ph.D., New Mexico Audubon Council, Los Alamos, 
     New Mexico; Lawrence Kaplan, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of 
     Biology, Editor, Economic Botany, Department of Biology, 
     University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts; Stephen 
     R. Kellert, Ph.D., Professor, Yale School of Forestry and 
     Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut; Diana 
     Kimberling, Ph.D., Fisheries Center-University of Washington, 
     Seattle, Washington; Rebecca Klaper, Ph.D., Institute of 
     Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; Walter D. 
     Koenig, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 
     California; Alan J. Kohn, Ph.D., President, Society for 
     Integrative and Comparative Biology, Department of Zoology, 
     University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; John Lattke, 
     Graduate Student, Department of Entomology, University of 
     California-Davis, Davis, California; Foster Levy, Ph.D., 
     Department of Biology, East Tennessee University, Johnson 
     City, Tennessee; David R. Lighthall, Ph.D., Department of 
     Geography, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York; Robert 
     J. Meese, Ph.D., Biodiversity Group, Information Center 
     for the Environment, Department of Environmental Science 
     and Policy, University of California, Davis, California; 
     DeForest Mellon, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Gilmaer 
     Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia; 
     Brent D. Mishler, Ph.D., Director, University and Jepson 
     Herbaria, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, 
     University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California; 
     Joseph C. Mitchell, Ph.D., University of Richmond, 
     Richmond, Virginia; David R. Montgomery, Ph.D., Associate 
     Professor, Geomorphology, University of Washington, 
     Seattle, Washington; Robert H. Mount, Ph.D., Professor 
     Emeritus, Auburn, Alabama; Peter Morrison, Ph.D., Pacific 
     Biodiversity Institute, Winthrop, Washington.
       Dennis Murphy, Ph.D., Research Professor, Department of 
     Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada; Julie Murray, 
     Ph.D., Candidate, University of Georgia, Savannah River 
     Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina; Henry R. 
     Mushinsky, Ph.D., Herpetologists' League Conservation 
     Committee, Past President of the Society for the Study of 
     Amphibians and Reptiles, University of South Florida, Tampa, 
     Florida; Reed F. Noss, Ph.D., Conservation Biology Institute, 
     Corvallis, Oregon; Mary H. O'Brien, Ph.D., Botanist, 
     Independent Contractor, Eugene, Oregon; Marcia Ostrom, Ph.D., 
     Program on Agricultural Technology Studies, University of 
     Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin; Lawrence M. Page, 
     Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Illinois Natural History Survey, 
     Champaign, Illinois; Dennis Paulson, Ph.D., Director, Slater 
     Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, 
     Washington; Bernard C. Patten, Regent's Professor of Ecology, 
     Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; 
     Scott M. Pearson, Ph.D., Biology Department, Mars Hill 
     College, Mars Hill, North Carolina; James L. Pease, Ph.D., 
     Department of Animal Ecology, Iowa State University, Ames, 
     Iowa; James W. Petranka, Ph.D., Department of Biology, 
     University of North Carolina, Asheville, North Carolina; 
     James W. Porter, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, 
     Athens, Georgia; Michael S. Putnam, Ph.D. Candidate, 
     Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 
     Wisconsin; Robert Michael Pyle, Ph.D., Biologist, Writer, 
     Gray's River, Washington; Lisa Rapaport, Ph.D., Department of 
     Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New 
     Mexico; Charles Rhyne, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, 
     Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi; Eric Roden, 
     Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, University of 
     Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Steven H. Rogstad, Ph.D., 
     Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, University of 
     Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; Matthew Rowe, Ph.D., Department 
     of Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, North 
     Carolina; Emma Rosi, M.S., Institute of Ecology, University 
     of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
       Janice Sand, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, 
     Athens, Georgia; Aristotelis Santas, Ph.D., Associate 
     Professor of Philosophy, Coordinator, Center for Professional 
     and Applied Ethics, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, 
     Georgia; Jeffrey P. Schloss, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, 
     Westmont College, Director, Biological Programs, Christian 
     Environmental Association, Santa Barbara, California; Steven 
     R. Sheffield, Ph.D., Clemson University, Pendleton, South 
     Carolina; Philip C. Shelton, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, 
     Clinch Valley College, Wise, Virginia; Mark A. Sheridan, 
     Ph.D., Professor of Zoology, North Dakota State University, 
     Fargo, North Dakota; Fraser Shilling, Ph.D., Division of 
     Biological Sciences, University of California-Davis, Davis, 
     California; Samuel M. Simkin, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 
     Athens, Georgia; Michael G. Smith, Ph.D., Los Alamos National 
     Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico; Michael Soule, Ph.D., 
     President, The Wildlands Project, Hotchkiss, Colorado; Roy A. 
     Stein, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; 
     Robert D. Stevenson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, 
     University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts; Douglas 
     Stotz, Ph.D., Environmental and Conservation Programs, Field 
     Museum, Chicago, Illinois; Harry M. Tiebout III, Ph.D., 
     Department of Biology, West Chester University, West Chester, 
     Pennsylvania; Howard Towner, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, 
     Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California; Peter 
     Warshall, Whole Earth Quarterly, San Rafael, California, 
     Judith S. Weis, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, 
     Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey; Bradley A. Wiley, 
     Research Assistant, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; 
     Bill Willers, Ph.D., Biology Department, University of 
     Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Herb Wilson, Ph.D., 
     Associate Professor of Biology, Colby College, Waterville, 
     Maine; John A. Witter, Ph.D., University of Michigan, School 
     of Natural Resources, and Environment, Ann Arbor, Michigan; 
     George Woodwell, Ph.D., Woods Hole Research Director, Woods 
     Hole, Massachusetts; Ruth D. Yanai, Ph.D., Assistant 
     Professor, Faculty of Forestry, SUNY College of Environmental 
     Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York; Eric Zwerling, 
     Ph.D., Director, Rutgers Noise Technical Assistance Center, 
     Founder, Faculty Advisor, Students for Environmental 
     Awareness, New Brunswick, New Jersey.


[[Page H1669]]


  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, we have listened to arguments against this bill which 
are really arguments against the so-called ``salvage rider'' bill of 2 
or 3 years ago. Those arguments simply fall on deaf ears if we 
carefully read this bill because, very frankly, let me take my 
colleagues through it one more time so that they understand how 
different this is from anything Members have seen before.
  We recognize that there are those who do not trust the Forest 
Service, and we recognize that there are those people who do not trust 
environmentalists, and we realize that there are people who do not 
trust foresters. So in order to place someone in the context of the 
analysis, we chose to place 11 scientists. No one has identified who 
they are, but we have identified their character and we have identified 
where they should come from and their expertise.
  We have suggested that four of them be appointed by the National 
Academy of Sciences. We suggested three of them be appointed by the 
Secretary of Agriculture and two by the House and two by the Senate, 
agriculture and resources respectively.
  In that manner, we think we have provided a broad base of selection 
process that will give comfort to any of those who see emotionally this 
issue running one way or running another. And in that light, we of 
course have brought judgment to this whole question.
  The scientific panel is appointed to identify the most difficult and 
problematic areas of the forest in the Nation. They submit that report 
to the Secretary, from which he chooses the most difficult problems 
that he faces in forest management throughout the country; and to that, 
he allots resources under a fund called the roads and trails fund that 
has not been used, by the way, at all for any purpose, and was returned 
to the Treasury between 1982 and 1996 and, after 1996, has been 
accumulating dollars, not being used by the Forest Service or anyone 
else.
  So it is apparent to us that that is a proper way of providing forest 
health, using those dollars that have not been used before in the road 
and trails fund. And by the way, the FIRM program by the Forest Service 
used the same identical kind of process in their Forest Improvement Act 
in another fund.
  Beyond that, the selection process is open to the public at the 
commencement of the program. It may be appealed by environmentalists if 
they choose. It is open at end. There are no time frames. The reason 
the Forest Service does not like this bill is because we are looking 
over their shoulder. They have only to report to Congress every year 
about what they are doing, and if Congress does not like it, your side 
or mine, they can use that opportunity to accuse the Forest Service of 
not following the law. And at the end of the process, we ask the 
General Accounting Office to review the total 5 years for the Congress 
to determine whether the process has been working, what has happened, 
and if there is on-the-ground improvement.
  We have used every dollar of this fund for improvement on the ground. 
Not one dime can be spent for Forest Service overhead, which is 
important because we want to see results on the ground. We have been 
accused, by the way, of saying you are trying to make money from this 
fund. And I heard the gentleman from Minnesota say these are low-cost 
sales. Which do we like here? The point is that both may be true. Some 
of this deteriorating wood may be of some value. We do not know. 
However, there are efforts that must be made on the ground to improve 
the forest floor that likely will be under cost or under any 
retrievable monetary impact, so that we are looking to improve the 
forest floor and we are not looking directly or indirectly at 
commercial activity.
  We have said if there are any funds that are available, they go back 
to the county. That is a legitimate position to take, I think.
  Now, we have listened to these kinds of announcements about this 
scientific community and that one. I just want to straighten out for 
the record the one that has been quoted twice now, the Sierra Nevada 
Ecosystem Project. It has been reported that it says that increased 
logging has increased fire severity more than any other human activity.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Pease). The time of the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Smith) has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Smith of Oregon was allowed to proceed for 
1 additional minute.)
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, just to go on with that report and 
to show how we can take these things out of context, let me read, 
quoting the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project further in the body of the 
bill and not quoting out of context.

       Fire protection for the last half century has provided for 
     the development of continuous dense forest stands which are 
     in need of thinning to accelerate growth, reduce fire hazard, 
     provide more mid-succession forest habitat, and yield usable 
     wood.

  Mr. BROWN of California. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last 
word.
  (Mr. BROWN of California asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BROWN of California. Mr. Chairman, I also had several amendments 
that I had intended to offer, but I have decided that I will not offer 
those amendments. I rise in opposition to the bill because I feel that 
it is fundamentally flawed and unnecessary.
  The Forest Service, which also strongly opposes the bill, has 
testified before the Committee on Agriculture that there is no forest 
health crisis and that they have adequate existing authority under law 
to carry out needed forest health projects. It is my view, 
incidentally, that they have had this authority for at least a couple 
of decades and in previous administrations have not used it, which to 
some degree accounts for some of the truly difficult forest health 
problems that we have at the present time.
  Mr. Chairman, H.R. 3530 is one in a string of bills that we have seen 
over the last few years that are based on a dubious scientific 
hypothesis that logging will alleviate the forest health crisis in our 
national forests. I am troubled by claims that the solution to problems 
in our national forests is continued commercial logging such as what we 
saw under the ``salvage rider'' provisions of previous legislation.
  The salvage rider that was attached to the fiscal year 1995 
rescissions bill had an unhealthy effect on our national forests and 
further eroded the public's confidence in the ability of the Forest 
Service to manage our public lands. It is my view that this current 
land proposes to give the Forest Service more authority to engage in 
logging that is not subject to annual appropriations. The Forest 
Service itself has told the sponsor of this bill that it does not need 
or want this legislation.
  Mr. Chairman, there have been a number of changes made in this bill 
with the intention of trying to alleviate some of the problems that 
have existed there. Some of the changes have been more or less 
cosmetic. The original versions of the bill continued to use the term 
``forest health,'' which is a catch word that we have heard over and 
over again to justify more logging in national forests.
  As I have indicated, forest health improvement has been so closely 
associated with logging that this term was advisedly removed from the 
revised version of the bill. But otherwise the bill was not 
substantively changed. The point is, changing the words does not change 
the fact that this bill is written and designed to encourage commercial 
logging, more commercial logging in our national forests, period.
  If there was not to be an increase in logging under this bill, I 
doubt if the sponsors would be seeking so enthusiastically to get it 
passed. If there is truly a crisis in our national forests, as the 
supporters of the bill contend, the Congress should appropriate funds 
specifically to address the problems. The type of off-budget funding 
mechanisms that we have in this bill have failed in the past and have 
seriously biased the management of our national forests.

                              {time}  1200

  Rather than repeating past mistakes, we should be moving in a new 
direction of forest management, and we should fund programs that will 
truly alleviate forest health problems. During an era of fiscal 
conservatism, we should not continue to allow logging off budget. If 
these problems are real, they should be addressed and justified in the 
full light of day and subject to the appropriations process.

[[Page H1670]]

  Mr. Chairman, the Secretary of Agriculture yesterday sent the 
chairman of the Committee on Agriculture a letter setting forth in more 
detail some of the things that I have mentioned and other objections 
that the administration has to the bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I include the following for the Record:

                                        Department of Agriculture,


                                      Office of the Secretary,

                                   Washington, DC, March 26, 1998.
     Hon. Robert F. Smith,
     Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Bob: I appreciate your efforts to address the 
     Administration's concerns with H.R. 2515, ``The Forest 
     Recovery and Protection Act of 1998,'' by introducing a 
     revised version, H.R. 3530. I know this legislation is a 
     priority for you; I do not come to my recommendation lightly.
       However, because H.R. 3530 contains several objectionable 
     provisions not changed from the previous bill, H.R. 2515, and 
     because it makes a material change in one significant respect 
     from the bill the Committee reported, as I discuss below, the 
     Administration cannot support it.
       The Administration's primary objections to H.R. 3530 are 
     that it: 1) expands an existing forest restoration program to 
     allow commercial timber harvesting and other activities; 2) 
     places pressure on local forest supervisors to generate large 
     timber receipts under the program because the bill gives 
     states, for the benefit of counties, 100 percent of the 
     receipts, which is inconsistent with the Administration's 
     fiscal year 1999 budget proposal; 3) establishes unreasonable 
     deadlines on public comment and the agency's review of those 
     comments; 4) greatly limits the agency's ability to conduct 
     sound environmental analysis on the program's standards and 
     criteria within the deadlines; and 5) contains costly 
     administrative and reporting processes, which would take 
     personnel and funds away from priority, on-the-ground forest 
     improvement activities.
       The Administration strongly opposes the bill's funding 
     mechanism, which turns an existing restoration-type fund, the 
     Roads and Trails Fund, into a commercial timber harvesting 
     program that would include salvaging and thinning of timber 
     in entire forests, which section 3 defines as recovery areas. 
     Requiring the Forest Service to designate forests as recovery 
     areas would unnecessarily open entire forests to these 
     activities when, in fact, restoration is required only on 
     specific, discrete areas, not forest-wide. Such a forest-wide 
     designation would further weaken the existing restoration 
     fund by imprudently broadening the scope of commercial 
     timbering activities the fund could finance.
       Moreover, section 8 in H.R. 3530 broadens the Committee-
     reported bill by requiring that all revenues generated from 
     timber sales and other activities be given to counties, for 
     the benefit of local schools and roads, creating an incentive 
     for communities to place enormous pressure on forest managers 
     to offer commercial timber sales rather than conduct needed, 
     noncommercial restoration projects. This provision also 
     greatly expands a 90-year-old statute which provides 25 
     percent of receipts from timber, mining, and grazing to 
     states and counties.
       In doing so, the changes incorporated into H.R. 3530 from 
     the Committee-reported bill would enhance the link between 
     timber, schools, and roads and create expectations in 
     communities that more timber receipts will be available under 
     this program for these purposes. The Administration's fiscal 
     year 1999 budget proposes to eliminate the direct connection 
     of Federal timber receipts and contributions to schools and 
     roads, providing instead stable, yearly payments based on a 
     formula using receipts received in previous years, a policy 
     we believe will better serve both local needs and sound 
     forest management.
       Section 4 would limit the public's comment period on the 
     proposed standards and criteria for the program and the 
     identification of recovery areas, severely limit the time the 
     Forest Service would have to review comments and publish 
     final decisions, and preclude the agency from modifying 
     decisions on designated recovery areas. The Administration 
     opposes these provisions because they 1) limit the public's 
     ability to be heard on how its forests are managed, 2) limit 
     the agency's ability to respond to the public's concerns, and 
     3) impede the ability of the Forest Service to conduct 
     meaningful environmental analysis, putting those important 
     assessments on an artificial timetable instead of one 
     determined by the schedule of sound science.
       I appreciate your interest in forest restoration and the 
     progress you have made in improving the legislation from its 
     original form; nonetheless, if H.R. 3530 is presented to the 
     President in its present form, because of the objectionable 
     provisions I have outlined and other concerns, I would have 
     to recommend that the President veto it.
       With best personal regards, I am
           Sincerely,
                                                     Dan Glickman,
                                                        Secretary.

  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I would just like to point out to my colleagues some of 
the provisions as they are stated within the context of the bill. First 
of all, I would like to make very clear that this, as far as my 
understanding of the bill, working on this piece of legislation for 
several weeks now, this bill is not a logging bill, this bill is a 
recovery bill. This deals with the recovery of certain areas that the 
chief of the Forest Service has described as needing some recovery, 
some management. This is not a logging bill.
  I would like to bring to my colleagues' attention page 7 of the bill, 
line 8, where it says, ``identifying recovery areas,'' what areas are 
going to be worked on. ``The recovery area that will be designated will 
be an area that has experienced disturbances from wildfires, insect 
infestations, disease, wind, flood, or other causes which have caused 
and contributed to,'' which is what we want to recover and repair, 
``significant soil erosion, degradation of water quality, loss of 
watershed values, habitat loss, or damage to other forest resource 
areas.'' That is what we are looking at. These are the areas which will 
be considered recovery areas.
  Now, the recovery project. I would ask my colleagues to turn to page 
8, starting on line 3. A recovery project means, this is what we are 
going to do when they get on the ground, a recovery project means ``to 
improve, restore, or protect forest resources within an identified 
recovery area, including the types of projects, riparian restoration, 
treatments to reduce stand density for the purpose of reducing risk of 
catastrophic loss.''
  Let me bring to my colleagues' attention the Southern Appalachian 
assessment of their forests. It states, ``Several tree species in the 
Southern Appalachians are at risk of extinction or significant genetic 
loss because of exotic pests and the lack of active management in other 
stands that has led to the development of dense forest understories.''
  I go on. ``Soil stabilization and water quality improvement,'' this 
is what is going to happen on the ground, ``removal of dead trees or 
trees being damaged by injurious agents other than,'' other than, 
``competition from other trees, prescribed fire, integrated pest 
management.'' And the list goes on. This is a list of recovery 
projects. It is not a list of logging.
  Now I would like my colleagues to turn to page 21. What kind of 
scientists are going to be looking at these areas and what kind of 
scientists will be designating the standards and the criteria upon 
which we will base these recovery projects, picked independently. They 
will be hydrologists, wildlife biologists, fisheries biologists, 
entomologists or pathologists, fire ecologists, silviculturists, 
economists, soil scientists.
  I would like to remind my colleagues of something that the gentleman 
from Texas talked about when he said we should compare our forest to 
our agriculture. The only way we are going to improve agriculture is to 
bring scientific data into the equation so we can not only increase the 
yield, but protect the environment at the same time.
  Can we sustain logging? Maybe the question is, should we sustain 
logging? People wanting homes, with the need for construction, do we 
need wood? The answer is yes. How do we sustain logging? We mimic 
nature and we protect biological diversity and we harvest trees. It is 
the injection of scientific data.
  Now, the last comment I want to make on this, because there will be 
some amendments coming up, this has been a tremendously healthy 
exercise. We are bringing in a lot of information. There is an exchange 
of information. And to the extent that I can see what is happening on 
the floor, there is a tolerance for someone else's opinion. But the 
bottom line is, does this bill move us a little bit forward in 
understanding the limited and diminishing resources that we people 
depend upon? And it is my judgment that this legislation moves us in 
the right direction. And I encourage my colleagues to vote for the 
bill.
  Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, the sponsors and the proponents of this bill say that 
they are passing this measure because they have the best interest of 
the national forests at heart, that what they want to do is to promote 
programs and policies which will make the forests

[[Page H1671]]

healthier, stronger, both now and in the future. And I believe that 
some of them actually believe that.
  I have tried to find within this proposal evidence to support that 
proposition, and I have looked in vain. They tell us that they are 
establishing a network of scientists who have certain credentials which 
will enable them to make sound scientific judgments with regard to how 
the forests should be managed. That, I suppose, is okay, except that 
that duplicates the abilities already contained within the National 
Forest Service.
  The National Forest Service now has people that have the ability to 
make these decisions. That kind of expertise exists within the Forest 
Service. In fact, we could look far and wide and not find people who 
are better able to make those judgments based upon silviculture, based 
upon biological diversity, based upon maintaining the soil, based upon 
the effects of soil erosion on aquatic life. All of that expertise now 
currently resides within the Forest Service, and it exists in great 
abundance.
  All of the intellectual resources that one could want to make these 
decisions exists in the Forest Service. Why do we need this new, 
cumbersome, bureaucratic arrangement that is only going to complicate 
matters to superimpose their judgment over the judgment of people who 
are more capable of making them, already working for the Federal 
Government? That does not make any sense to me.
  What this bill will simply do is promote logging. Now, a certain 
amount of logging, it is recognized, is good and healthy. But this bill 
is going to promote amounts of logging that are unhealthy and 
unreasonable, unnecessary, and will be counterproductive to the stated 
objectives of the proponents of this legislation.
  When we come right down to it, Mr. Chairman, what this bill is is a 
license to steal. It is a license to steal a vast amount of the 
precious natural resources of this country, and it is a license to 
steal taxpayers' money.
  Now, how does it do that? It does that by setting up this kind of 
arrangement, which is the kind of arrangement that I have discussed, 
which will enable vast amounts of cutting to go on in the national 
forest, based upon the idea that by so doing they are going to somehow 
protect the forests. It will set up a bureaucratic arrangement whereby 
if someone believes or supposes or imagines that there is some kind of 
danger occurring to the national forests, that vast amounts of that 
forest can be cut, clear-cutting can take place.
  Now, is the size of that clear-cutting defined? Not at all. Entire 
forests could be cut down under the provisions of this bill. Entire 
forests could be clear cut under the provisions of this bill. So this 
bill sets up a program which will allow those misguided people who want 
to clear cut the national forests to have a license to do that, a 
license to steal vast amounts of the natural resources of this country.
  And then when there is revenue produced as a result of this larcenist 
logging that will take place, those financial resources will not accrue 
back to the taxpayers of the country, as it should because, after all, 
all of these resources are owned by all of the people of this country 
jointly. No, what this bill will do is take those monies and deposit 
them in certain places in the country to benefit certain constituencies 
or certain constituencies of certain Members of this body, so taking 
money that belongs to all the people of the country and putting it into 
special places in the country at the expense of everyone else.

  That money, by the way, should be used for what it would be used 
under normal circumstances under the provisions of the existing law, to 
enable the Forest Service to conduct their business in the way that 
they should and the way that they want to.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New York (Mr. Hinchey) 
has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Hinchey was allowed to proceed for 1 
additional minute.)
  Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Chairman, so if we allow this bill to pass, what we 
succeed in doing is allowing vast amounts of natural resources to be 
stolen and vast amounts of revenue to be stolen.
  I made the point in my opening remarks that the customs duties in the 
City of New York could be taken by the City of New York under the same 
kind of reasoning that goes on here or in the Port of Miami or the Port 
of Los Angeles under the same reasoning. Because the port is there, 
should all of those resources go to New York or Miami or Los Angeles or 
any other port? Obviously not. Those resources belong to all the people 
of the country, as these resources belong to all the people of the 
country and should not be expropriated as they would under the 
provision of this bill.
  This bill is bad public policy, and I urge its defeat.
  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, under the procedures today in considering the context 
of this legislation, I had noticed several amendments which I do not 
intend to offer. Time does not permit me to. And quite frankly, I think 
the scope of this bill, working on this particular bill, amendments to 
modify, would be like buying a ticket on the Titanic Sea Cruise.
  The fact is that the bill is not a good policy and, frankly, is based 
on a premise that is not correct that there is a forest crisis. I very 
much agree with the comments made by my colleague, the distinguished 
gentleman from California (Mr. Brown), who preceded my statement in 
this 5-minute-rule time frame. The fact is that there is not a crisis 
that would require this measure and this unusual legislative measure.
  Do we have problems in terms of forest health? Yes. But the answer is 
not one that has come just in recent years it has been growing for many 
decades. The fact is that it is something that has grown out of 
mismanagement, frankly, and I think, in a sense, really a lack of 
knowledge with regards to the dynamics of the management of our 
landscapes of these national forests and many other of our public 
lands.
  We have today a tremendous problem that we need to address. As has 
been pointed out during this debate and in testimony, we spend 
literally billions of dollars each year and some years too many 
billions in terms of suppressing or fighting fire. But we found that 
many times fire policies and activities of the past are responsible for 
many the problems in the forests, the way we fought fires.
  I would suggest another issue is the fact that the way we manage the 
lands in terms of permitting interface with personal properties, the 
``urban interface'' as we refer to it, that again is inviting problems 
and it should be addressed. We have talked about the tremendous backlog 
in terms of the mileage of roads that we have in our forests, mostly 
roads, legal but some, what we call ``ghost roads,'' or illegal roads, 
total some 433,000 miles of roads in our forests; and the Forest 
Service reports to us the $10.5 billion backlog in terms of maintaining 
them and we provide but a token amount for such.
  That is why so many of us are concerned that even under this bill, 
new roads would be permitted in unroaded areas. We cannot maintain what 
we have got. common sense would dictate that when we are in a hole and 
we want to get out, Mr. Chairman, we quit digging. But that is 
obviously not a message, that understanding, that this Congress has yet 
come to grips with.

                              {time}  1215

  Although the Forest Service itself has taken a very bold move in 
trying to call a time out, an 18-month moratorium on the construction 
of roads until we can reframe our policies as to the management of 
these lands and road policy.
  I noted very appropriately that the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Gilchrest) pointed out some of the good features of this bill. I would 
recognize the chairman and ranking member have written some provisions 
in this bill that I think are appropriate in terms of talking to forest 
health. The problem is that the deficiencies in the bill simply are 
such that it does not function, and doesn't add up to good policy.
  He did not talk about page 13 section and the requirements spelled 
out on page 13 and 14 of the substitute as to how you select these 
particular projects. One of them dealt with and directs these 
scientists to use these particular criteria in selecting the

[[Page H1672]]

projects. They cannot look at cost-benefit in the sense they are going 
to provide for below-cost sales. That is not a factor in terms of 
forest health. Another requirement is they need to look at what the 
economic impact is in an area. That is another factor. These are all 
requirement, but these are not the criteria that relate to forest 
health.
  Indeed, we have the criteria that relate to forest health that have 
been testified to by the Forest Service, by the chief of the Forest 
Service. This bill does not direct itself to that. The chief talked 
about maintaining diversity, resiliency of the components, such as 
wildlife and fish riparian areas, soils, range lands, economic 
potential that will require active management, it will require road 
maintenance and obliteration, use of prescribed fire, grazing, 
thinning, and some salvage. He talked about, of course, the private 
sector involvement in terms of technical assistance on private lands as 
being a major problem in terms of this area.
  The fact is that trying to provide these dollars in an unaccountable 
manner in spite of the fact you are asking for studies and reports 
back, if that is going to be the new template for us in the future as 
to how we provide accountability, why do we not pass 5-year 
appropriation bills? We do not do that because we know that even on a 
short-term we have to come back and reference and try to determine what 
is happening.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Pease). The time of the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Vento) has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Vento was allowed to proceed for 1 
additional minute.)
  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Chairman, if you want to talk about good intentions, I 
suppose I could be generous and say that the intentions under the 
salvage rider were good intentions, but the fact is today that it is 
almost universally criticized in terms of what the consequence was of 
the salvage rider. Others will say that was not their intention. But 
the fact is that was just a short 2 years ago. And we have had all 
kinds of problems and controversy.
  This particular measure, untested, deserves accountability on an 
annual basis, and forest health deserves far more dollars of 
commitment. It deserves the solid support to the United States Forest 
Service in terms of dealing with forest health, not something 
superimposed with new criteria which I think has the potential to 
continue road building, continue business as usual at the expense of 
the taxpayer and at the expense of losing our natural forest legacy, 
the proper inheritance, I think, of all Americans.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3530, the Forest Recovery 
and Protection Act of 1998. I can think of few bills in my experience 
in Congress or back in Minnesota that were more ironically named. In 
short, this bill is about neither the recovery nor the protection of 
our National Forests. It's about more logging, plain and simple. This 
policy reminds one of a false syllogism: state some information in an 
arbitrary fashion, then draw a conclusion which is entirely 
inconsistent and incorrect.
  As most of you know, this bill is a rerun of the salvage logging 
rider; a new incarnation of an old ideal a bad idea. Introduced as H.R. 
2515 late last year, it has been changed in recent days in a failed 
attempt to achieve consensus. Mr. Chairman, I say to those members who 
are suspicious of this new bill, you have every right to be skeptical 
and yes cynical. This bill does not accomplish consensus. It does not 
improve upon H.R. 2515. The most crucial and damaging aspects of that 
legislation remain intact, and in fact a number of adverse additional 
new proposals have been added. I will certainly vote no and urge others 
to do the same.
  I will vote no because this legislation is based on an entirely 
faulty premise. While we all realize that there are problems in some 
Western forests, there is no forest health crisis. Mike Dombeck, Chief 
of the U.S. Forest Service, agrees and testified to this point. In 
testimony before the House Agriculture Committee last year, Mr. Dombeck 
referred to the ``generally . . . healthy'' condition of our nation's 
forests. He admitted there are problems. But he also detailed the 
Forest Service's current problem solving tools, like thinning, 
maintenance and obliteration of roads, and prescribed fire. A committee 
of more than 100 independent scientists, furthermore, recently sent a 
letter to Congress, in which they claim that ``there is no widespread 
or universal forest health crisis.'' But the proponents of this measure 
must establish a crisis in order to justify the policy in this bill. 
It's like a policy in search of a crisis. Creating the crisis justifies 
in their minds' eyes the salvage harvest of our National Forests.
  This bill is unnecessary and harmful. The recovery projects proposed 
by this bill will most likely lead to commercial logging. Yet it was 
precisely these sorts of activities that created our current problems 
in the first place. Scientists working on the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem 
project concluded that logging increased the severity of forest fires 
more than any other human activity. There's one thing worse than a 
solution to a problem that doesn't exist, and that's a solution that 
makes the problem worse.
  There are a few specific problems with this bill that I would like to 
focus on. First, it creates an off-budget fund for the Forest Service. 
I find it ironic that on the same day that the major committees of 
jurisdiction are holding a hearing at which they blast the Forest 
Service for being poorly managed, we are considering giving them more 
money with even less accountability to the public. If, Mr. Chairman, 
the sponsor of this legislation is serious about solving forest health 
problems, he should consider putting the fund it creates back on budget 
and subject such expenditures to open Congressional and public 
scrutiny.
  Second, this salvage program could take place virtually anywhere, not 
just in areas where forests are in so-called ``poor health.'' Sponsors 
claim that they are protecting wilderness, old growth and riparian 
areas. Protecting wilderness isn't just a good idea or a choice: 
logging in areas of the National Wilderness Preservation System is 
against the law. And the claims of protecting old growth and riparian 
areas are disingenuous at best. This bill only prohibits logging in 
riparian and old growth areas that are currently protected by land 
management plans. Unfortunately, many current land management plans are 
out of date and not in sync with current scientific information. This 
bill takes advantage of that lack of protection in such plans and 
roadless areas not protected are opened to logging and treatment in the 
name of forest health rather than integrating new information into 
current forest plans.
  Finally, this bill codifies below-cost timber sales. It states that 
``a recovery project is not precluded simply because the cost of 
preparing and implementing the recovery project is likely to exceed the 
revenue derived from the recovery project.'' Mr. Chairman, passage of 
H.R. 3530 would codify below cost timber sales in permanent law 
justifying such subsidized harvest as far as the eye can see. That 
sends a very bad message to the taxpayers, it's bad environmental 
policy, and it alone is a reason to oppose this bill.
  H.R. 3530 is far from a solution to the forest health problems in our 
National Forests--it will just make our current problems worse. I urge 
my colleagues to join me in voting against this measure. Once you see 
beneath the veneer of forest health, what is evident is the 
establishment in law of a collection of the deficient practices that 
have existed within our National Forests in the past decades. This is 
just another new verse to the same music. It's business as usual and 
instant gratification for the timbering special interests at the 
expense of taxpayers and future generations. Passage of this measure 
puts their resource legacy, their American forest heritage, very much 
at risk.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to speak 
for 1 minute out of turn.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Oregon?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I just want to correct the record 
from the last speaker. There is accountability every year, because the 
GAO reports every year on what occurs on the ground. There is 
accountability, fiscally and on the ground. On page 13 which he 
mentioned, he failed to tell you what is the rest of page 13:
  Ensure that each recovery project complies with the land management 
plan applicable to the recovery area within which the recovery project 
will be conducted; and ensure that each recovery project will maintain 
or enhance the ecological functions and conditions of the forest in 
which the project will be conducted.
  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to proceed out of 
order for 1 minute.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Minnesota?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Chairman, I recognize that reports are required, but 
the fact is that this is a less precise way and a less effective way in 
terms of attaining accountability from the program. We do not do that 
through the

[[Page H1673]]

regular process. Regular appropriations might be a little better for 
such an untested program. I would further point out that the amount of 
dollars in this measure is not nearly enough to begin to deal on a 
broad basis with forest health, which the gentleman acknowledges. We 
have a problem here with road building and with taking care of the 
roads and I think that we are not addressing that particular problem in 
the regular land plans, a $10.5 billion backlog exists in repair and 
maintenance. This is at the best cosmetic, but I think it has some 
other serious problems and deficiencies that I pointed out in my 
previous statement.


                Amendment Offered by Mr. Smith of Oregon

  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Smith of Oregon:
       On page 29, beginning on line 15, strike paragraph (4) and 
     insert instead:
       ``(4) Prohibition on use of any funds to construction 
     roads.--For purposes of recovery projects authorized by this 
     Act, amounts in the Fund shall not be used, either directly 
     through direct allocations from the Fund, or indirectly 
     through allocations to recovery projects from other Forest 
     Service accounts, for the construction of roads, in those 
     areas within the recovery project where the construction of 
     roads would be prohibited by any Federal environmental law or 
     the applicable land management plan.''.

  Mr. SMITH of Oregon (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask 
unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed 
in the Record.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Oregon?
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, reserving a point of order, I 
want to make sure we have the right amendment.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Let us continue with the reading for the 
gentleman. It is not that long.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk concluded the reading of the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Does the gentleman reserve a point of 
order?
  Mr. MILLER of California. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We would like to see the 
amendment, would be the first point of order.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The gentleman reserves a point of order.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, this issue has been hovering 
around the debate on this bill for some time. It has been very 
controversial. It is the question in two parts, one, of whether or not 
this involves roadless areas which the chief of the Forest Service has 
placed a moratorium on. It does not.
  Then there was this effort to discuss permanent roads, new roads. We 
heard the gentleman from New York discuss that earlier. There was some 
debate about whether this allowed roads, did not allow roads, and 
whatever. What I have done with this amendment is simply to lift the 
whole question of roads out of this bill, so that the decision as to 
whether or not recovery projects will be involved with roads will be 
finally decided by the scientists who propose these programs as well as 
by the Secretary of Agriculture as well as by those forest managers on 
the ground.
  Let me make the point that the gentleman from Minnesota just made, 
and that is simply that the meager amounts of money in the road and 
trails fund certainly are not enough to take care of the health 
problems in this country. There is no question about that. That is why 
we have had this selection process to find the most critical problems 
in forest in the country and then allow the Secretary to allot funds.
  I want to ask you the question rhetorically. If the Secretary of 
Agriculture determines through his chief that there be a moratorium on 
roadless areas, what in the world would make the Secretary of 
Agriculture identify one of these recovery areas that violated his 
stipulation that you cannot build roads in roadless areas during the 
moratorium? Or maybe at any other time? The fear that will emanate from 
this discussion simply is not there.
  What I am trying to do here again is lift the debate of roads out of 
this question. It is not a forest health issue, by the way. It should 
not be a forest health issue. This whole bill in its direction is 
determined to be how can we improve the forest health, the ecosystem 
health of our Nation's forests. It ought not to be about roads.
  I am sorry that I had to bring this amendment, frankly, because it 
raises the debate and I understand the emotion that is centered around 
it. However, lifting the language in this manner takes the question of 
roads out of the issue, and therefore I suggest and I ask the body to 
accept this amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Does the gentleman from California insist 
on his point of order?
  Mr. MILLER of California. I do not, Mr. Chairman. I withdraw it.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The gentleman withdraws his point of order.


Amendment Offered by Mr. Boehlert to the Amendment Offered by Mr. Smith 
                               of Oregon

  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Boehlert to the amendment offered 
     by Mr. Smith of Oregon:
       In the last line of the amendment, insert after ``law'' the 
     following: ``or policy that is in effect or has been proposed 
     in the Federal Register by the date of the enactment of this 
     Act.''

  Mr. BOEHLERT (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the 
Record.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, this amendment says that no roads could 
be built if doing so would violate any law or policy in effect or 
proposed on the date of enactment. This complex language boils down to 
one thing. The amendment's language will prevent this bill from being 
used to build roads in roadless areas. It is that basic. Let me repeat. 
This amendment will prevent this bill from being used to build roads in 
roadless areas.
  As I already said and many others have repeated, no roads are needed 
for forest health. Let us not be misled. This amendment applies only to 
road construction under this bill, not to other Forest Service 
programs.
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last 
word.
  Mr. Chairman, the Smith amendment does not do what the gentleman from 
Oregon said that it does do. I appreciate while he would prohibit 
Federal roads prohibited by any Federal environmental law, of which 
would obviously be, that is just current law, and the second one, any 
applicable land management plan.
  The problem is most land management plans, one, are out of date and, 
two, never spoke to the issue of creating roads because most of the 
land use management plans for the national forests were designed to 
allow for the continued construction of roads because that is what they 
were predicated upon.
  We are undergoing a review in California in the Sierra Nevada of the 
land management plans for the very reason that they do not address 
these issues. That makes it imperative if the Smith amendment is going 
to be accepted that it be accepted with the Boehlert language, because 
the Boehlert language speaks to the reality of what is taking place; 
that is, that we have some 380,000 miles of roads in the national 
forests.
  We have a $10 billion backlog in these forests because they are 
deteriorating. We cannot take care of the ones that we have. They are 
starting to wreak havoc with good portions of the forests as they fall 
into disrepair. They are destroying the fisheries and the streams and 
the watersheds of some of our most valuable rivers for the production 
of fish for sports purposes and for commercial purposes.
  That is why the Secretary of Agriculture has asked for a moratorium 
so they can sort out the road policy. Now the gentleman from Oregon 
wants to come in and impose a road policy on this legislation that does 
not stop road building from taking place, it allows it to continue 
because the forest plans allow it to continue, and we need the Boehlert 
amendment.
  It is very interesting that now we are going to rush to make a road 
policy in the Smith bill when 2 days ago in the Committee on Resources 
they were asking for 120 hearings before we could consider any change 
in the road policy.

[[Page H1674]]

 They wanted every national forest to hold a hearing before they 
tampered with it at all. But now all of a sudden we are going to create 
a road policy here that under the Smith amendment allows you to 
continue to build roads and ignores the moratorium by the Secretary.
  That is the purpose of this amendment, because everybody here who is 
knowledgeable in the land management plans knows that the land 
management plans when they were drafted were designed to continue the 
commercial harvesting of the forests and part of commercial harvesting 
of the forests is the continuation of road building. So the land 
management plans would not outlaw and in fact you could continue to go 
into roadless areas.
  There is no designation, there is no Federal law, there is no land 
management plan. It really concentrates these dollars, if you will, on 
the roadless areas. That is why we have got to have the Boehlert 
amendment. We should vote aye on the Boehlert amendment. If it is not 
accepted, we should vote no on the Smith amendment.
  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. MILLER of California. I yield to the gentleman from Minnesota.
  Mr. VENTO. I would just point out that this amendment knocks out the 
prohibition on the use of any funds to construct new permanent roads.

                              {time}  1230

  So, under this amendment as I read it, and I admit obviously funds 
are limited here, but we are talking about what we are doing. New 
permanent roads, I guess, would be okay, temporary roads would be okay, 
other types of roads would be okay if they are not prohibited by 
Federal environmental law or applicable law or policy in effect at this 
date with the Boehlert amendment.
  But what I am pointing out is that this simply means business as 
usual. Obviously, we are only talking about the selected forest health 
areas, but they are knocking out the provision that had put a 
limitation on permanent roads.
  I mean, we are dealing here, because the policy is deficient, and 
what they are trying to do is to rewrite those assets and policies, and 
the statement came up that roads were not a factor in terms of forest 
health. Well, that is news to the scientists and to the Forest Service, 
because these roads are a major health problem in terms of our forests. 
They are a major problem in terms of where fire incidents occur is 
along these roads, of the slumping that occurs in the soils that are 
choking the streams of the unmaintained nature of these 433 miles of 
legal and illegal roads.
  There are major forest health problems.
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman, and he 
makes the exact point. As my colleagues know, okay, the Smith bill just 
got caught with his hand in the cookie jar because they are going to 
allow increased road building, that Congress for the most part is 
against increased road building, the administration has a moratorium on 
it. So now they are trying to offer some camouflage in this amendment 
to pretend like they are going to take road building.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Pease). The time of the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Miller) has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Miller of California was allowed to 
proceed for 1 additional minute.)
  Mr. MILLER of California. And to pretend that they are going to take 
it out, because they are not going to do it where it is prohibited by 
Federal law. I suggest they could not do it where it was prohibited by 
Federal law, because that would be FIRM law and where there is land 
management plans, except that they know that the land management plans 
do not prohibit road building.
  So the Boehlert amendment must be adopted if we are going to protect 
the Federal Treasury, if we are going to protect the national forests, 
if we are going to protect the local users of these forests. We must 
have the Boehlert amendment at a minimum. If we take the Smith 
amendment, all bets are off, we are just back to using Federal dollars 
to build roads where they are not needed, and it is these very roads 
that have caused a great deal of the forest health problems that 
supposedly this bill is addressing.
  I urge my colleagues to support the Boehlert amendment and oppose the 
Smith amendment.
  Mr. DOOLITTLE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, there is a crisis on our forests that has been well 
documented. The administration agrees that there is a crisis. The 
Forest Service chief has testified that 40 million acres of our 
national forests are in unacceptable condition, and this amendment by 
the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) is needed. The amendment by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) would be very detrimental.
  How do we clean up the forests? We know we are going to have to have 
a substantial amount of cleanup involving the trees.
  The gentleman from California (Mr. Miller) talks about protecting the 
Federal Treasury. How are we going to protect the Federal Treasury? How 
are we going to protect the Treasury if we ban the construction of 
roads needed to take the timber out, and so then we go to helicopter 
logging, and we will be spending 3 or 4 times what it costs to take 
this material out over the roads. This is going to be highly 
detrimental to the taxpayer, but further than that, the forest fires 
that will result by this roadless policy being imposed will be much 
more detrimental in terms of lives lost by Federal firefighters and 
others fighting the fire, in terms of the costs of fighting the fire, 
and we as a Congress will step up and appropriate whatever it takes to 
pay for those costs.
  But the point we are trying to make is the Smith bill, which is 
trying to give effect to this amendment, is going to help reduce the 
threat of fire and danger to our communities. Why would anybody build 
roads that are not necessary? Roads are extremely expensive. Anybody 
who has ever built a road knows how expensive it is. I built a road, a 
half mile long, gravel, it was $26,000, and that was 10 years ago. I do 
not even know what the price is today. People do not go out and do 
these things because they are spending somebody else's money, they are 
spending their own money.
  I would submit, Mr. Chairman, that this policy in the Smith amendment 
is needed. We are in compliance with all the environmental laws. The 
language of this amendment makes that clear. To take the next step and 
go to the Boehlert amendment to this amendment would basically say 
clean up the forests, reduce the fire risk; but, by the way, do not use 
any roads that might need to be constructed to accomplish that. Figure 
out some other way to do it. Go to helicopter logging, go to, I do not 
know how else to do it other than helicopter logging.
  This is absurd. It would be extremely burdensome to the taxpayer. It 
is a very extreme agenda. This is the extreme environmentalist agenda 
right here that we cannot even build roads to protect the health of the 
forest, to protect the endangered species that so many on this side are 
always upset about protecting, and indeed we will be wreaking havoc in 
the national forests.
  In our committee we heard testimony on this. Our forests today are in 
the worst condition they have ever been in the entire 20th century, and 
it is largely due to the tremendous overgrowth of the forests, the 
tremendous threat of catastrophic fire that we face, and the inability 
to effectively address this.
  When the Smith bill comes forward to try and proactively address this 
issue and respond even to the concerns of the administration, we are 
then going to be offered an approach such as that of a Boehlert 
amendment that ties our hands, and it will cost the taxpayer hundreds 
of millions of dollars if this policy is allowed to go into effect.
  So I will speak for the taxpayer and urge my colleagues to defeat the 
Boehlert amendment and to pass the Smith amendment.
  Mrs. CUBIN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I find the Smith amendment to be very good for one of 
our most precious natural resources; that is, our forests and our 
ability to use them. And I find the Boehlert amendment to be radical 
and extreme.

[[Page H1675]]

 The Boehlert amendment locks up one-third of the forests in this 
country. So if a road washes out, a temporary road in a forest washes 
out, or if there is a blowdown and a road is blocked, his amendment 
could even be construed that those could not be repaired.
  And do my colleagues know what that does? It does a lot of things, 
but one of the main things is that it violates the Americans With 
Disabilities Act. If we cannot have roads in forests, not only can we 
not harvest the timber and not realize the value that that has in 
preserving the health of the forest and bringing revenues to the 
communities, but we cannot have recreation in the forests either. We 
cannot go sightseeing, we cannot go picnicking, fishing, hunting or 
camping unless we want to parachute in, unless we want to walk, unless 
we want to ride a mule. And having just gone through some very serious 
surgery which limited my ability to be able to walk around, to be able 
to ride a horse or a mule, I cannot do that anymore, and there are 
millions of Americans who cannot do that either.
  Locking up one-third of America's forests and not allowing people to 
get in there is simply wrong, and that could very well be the effect 
that the Boehlert amendment has, not to mention the fact that when we 
do not keep these roads, temporary or permanent, in conditions so that 
we can fight fires, we are asking for the ravages that we have seen on 
the 6 o'clock news to habitat for animals and to income for 
communities, as well as our beautiful forests.
  What the Boehlert amendment is truly about is about pure 
unadulterated politics. According to the Forest Service communications 
plan, the agency is preparing to use major forest fires during the 
summer and fall of 1998 for political purposes. These political 
purposes are to help Vice President Gore run for President and to 
advance an extreme radical environmentalist agenda, which is exactly 
what the Boehlert amendment does.
  According to the Washington Post, the Forest Service intends, and 
this is a quote, ``to manipulate the media and everyone else to get 
support for the administration's policies over the next 8 months.'' 
That is a quote. The Washington Post article outlined the Forest 
Service and, therefore, the administration's strategy regarding how to 
get this watershed aspect of their agenda enacted. The communications 
plan includes having Forest Service chief Don Beck travel extensively 
to, again I quote, ``travel extensively to fires receiving high media 
coverage,'' unquote, and to provide similar media advance for Vice 
President Gore prior to the 2000 presidential election. That is what is 
in the communication plan of the Forest Service. It is not about good 
forest health, it is not about managing the forests. It is about 
politics.
  It is unconscionable to think that people will be killed and property 
will be lost and habitat will be destroyed in this blatant attempt to 
push the administration's misguided environmental agenda. The trust 
that we have instilled in this Forest Service has been compromised 
because of this attempt at making it all the more incumbent that this 
Congress step forward and reject the extreme radical environmental 
agenda that is personified in the Boehlert amendment. We should pass 
the Smith amendment and then pass the bill.
  Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert).
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. Two 
points I wish to make:
  In response to the gentleman from California (Mr. Doolittle) I wish 
to point out this is hardly an extreme measure. No roads are needed to 
accomplish forest health purposes. My amendment is narrower than the 
original bill language agreed to by the chairman, the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Smith). So I want to point that out to one and all.
  Secondly, in response to my colleague from Wyoming (Mrs. Cubin), her 
interpretation is wrong. My amendment does not eliminate anything or 
limit anything being done to deal with existing roads. They can be 
repaired, they can be maintained. Her interpretation is clearly wrong.
  Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Smith 
amendment and the misnamed Forest Recovery and Protection Act and to 
suggest a more mainstream alternative. This fiscally irresponsible, 
environmentally destructive legislation, along with the infamous 
``salvage rider'' is based on the incorrect assumption that there is a 
forest health crisis in the national forests and that the best way to 
cure a sick forest is to log it. It is nothing more than a clever use 
of words to hide its true intentions.
  Mr. Chairman, here are some of the more creative examples of language 
used to foster more logging. Whether it is meadow enhancement, linear 
wildlife opening, vista enhancement or cross-country ski enhancement, 
the bottom line is that it is all the same, more logging. The only 
crisis in our national forests is excessive road building and 
destructive logging.
  In contrast, H.R. 2789, the National Forest Protection and 
Restoration Act introduced by the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Leach) and 
myself would preserve our remaining old-growth forests by investing in 
environmental restoration. Furthermore, unlike the legislation we are 
considering today, our bill would invest in worker retraining and would 
end the corporate welfare practice of stealing money earmarked for 
environmental restoration and placing it into off-budget slush fund 
accounts used to promote clear-cutting.
  Lastly, unlike the bill today, H.R. 2789 is consistent with the views 
of the American people who in recent polling have indicated that they 
oppose logging on national forests. Therefore, H.R. 2789 offered by Mr. 
Leach and myself would end commercial logging on our national forests 
while providing for worker retraining and environmental restoration.
  The bill before us today falls far short of H.R. 2789, and I urge my 
colleagues to vote down this misnamed bill.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I think that it is important to understand exactly what 
the Smith amendment attempted to do. The language of the Smith 
amendment states that no funds shall be used either directly through 
direct allocations from the fund or indirectly from allocations to 
recovery projects from other Forest Service accounts for the 
construction of roads in those areas within the recovery project where 
the construction of roads would be prohibited by any Federal 
environmental law or applicable land management plan.
  Now the Boehlert amendment, and I doubt very strongly if there is a 
Member of the House, if they actually read the Boehlert amendment, 
would vote for it. And please, before my colleagues cast their vote, 
actually read the Boehlert amendment because it goes on to change that 
and say, ``. . . policy that is in effect or has been proposed in the 
Federal Register by the day of the enactment of this law.''

                              {time}  1245

  So any policy, any policy. We are not just talking about roadless 
areas. We are talking about any policy that is in effect or has been 
proposed in the Federal Register now becomes law.
  The gentleman is completely and thoroughly abdicating any 
responsibility that the legislative branch has. Any authority that the 
legislative branch has. He is saying any policy that this 
administration has in effect today or that they have even proposed, 
that they have even put in the Federal Register, we are giving up on 
that. That is the effect of putting the Boehlert amendment in.
  We can have a grand debate about roads. We have heard a lot of pretty 
funny stuff that has come out here today. I have heard people say that 
our forests are not in bad condition and that they do not need to be 
taken care of and that the only way that we can manage them is just to 
leave them alone and keep people out of it. I think that just shows a 
complete lack of knowledge as to what is going on in our forests, in 
our national forests in America today.
  The truth of what we are saying is we do not care if the Committee on 
Agriculture has held any hearings on this or not. We do not care if the 
Committee on Resources has held any hearings

[[Page H1676]]

on this or not. We do not care whether or not Congress agrees with 
these policies or not. We do not care about any of that.
  What we are saying is any policy that is in effect or has been 
proposed in the Federal Register all of a sudden becomes law. I would 
guarantee that if we knew all of the policies that are in effect, all 
of the policies that have been proposed, there is no way we would 
support that.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) would have us believe that 
all that this affects is a little roadless area, and that is all we are 
doing. That is not all we are doing. By the very language that he uses 
in his amendment, this is as extreme and radical as we can possibly 
get. We just give up on everything and say whatever the administration 
has proposed, any policy they have in effect, anything that they want, 
we are going to put that on this bill. We are just going to go that 
way. That is the exactly wrong way to go.
  I know the gentleman from California (Mr. Miller) and I have had a 
lot of discussions over the years about our forests, the health of our 
forests, and had some great debates on the floor of this House about 
what to do on environmental policy and on forest policy. But I am sure 
that he and his colleagues on the other side of the aisle would agree 
that it is bad policy for this House to, all of a sudden, say any 
policy that the administration has in effect, and I know he disagrees 
with the policies that the administration has in effect, I know many of 
my colleagues disagree with the policies that this administration has 
in effect, but any policy that they have in effect today becomes law. 
It is not just the ones that they are already using, that they are 
already implementing out in the field; it is anything that they have 
proposed in the Federal Register all of a sudden goes into effect with 
the enactment of this law.
  I do not think any of my colleagues, if they read this amendment and 
truly understand what the impact of this amendment is, could possibly, 
possibly support this, because this is about as extreme an abdication 
of our responsibilities and our authority as the legislative branch as 
we could possibly get.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from California (Mr. Pombo) 
has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Pombo was allowed to proceed for 1 
additional minute.)
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, if we are going to have some kind of a 
national forest policy that takes care of our forests, that ensures 
that we have healthy forests that are full of wildlife and all the 
things that in our mind's eye we think of when we think of national 
forests, this is the wrong way to go; because what this is saying is we 
are not going to get together in a bipartisan fashion, we are not going 
to hold hearings, we are not going to go out to the forests and look at 
them and see what is there. We are not going to do anything that our 
constituents expect us to do.
  What we are going to do is, we are just going to willy-nilly accept 
any policy that this administration has in effect, or anything that 
they have proposed to put into effect, and we are going to accept that. 
That is not what our constituents expect us to do. That is not what 
they sent us back here to do.
  Whether we agree or disagree with the underlying bill, our 
constituents did not send us back here to vote blindly for any policy 
that this administration has in effect or anything that they proposed.
  When we talk about the roadless, they have not even finished the 
hearing process. They have not even finished the comment period 
process, and we are going to accept it. They have not even finished it 
yet, and we are going to accept it. That is bad public policy.
  I have only been here for a short period of time compared to most of 
my colleagues, but I can tell them there is no way that their 
constituents expect them to come back here, and I have never seen 
anything like this put on the floor of the House, where we will just 
blindly accept whatever policies the administration has in effect or 
anything that they have proposed
  Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  Mr. Chairman, right now there is an ongoing public comment period on 
the administration's proposed moratorium on road building. This 
amendment, the Boehlert amendment, would override that public process. 
This amendment, the Boehlert amendment, would put the road moratorium 
proposal into law and cut the public entirely out of the process.
  The Boehlert amendment then violates the public process that the 
other side claims to be so important. The Boehlert amendment overrides 
the regulatory process. It overrides the Administrative Procedures Act. 
But, most importantly, it violates the people who in good faith are 
participating in a national discussion on how to manage the road and 
infrastructure in our national forests.
  The Smith amendment reaffirms this Congress' commitment that we shall 
not, I repeat, ``not'' build roads in sensitive areas that are off 
limits to roads under our current environmental laws; and that is the 
bottom line.
  Ms. FURSE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, a number of colleagues here have spoken about why would 
anybody build a road that is not needed; that it is very expensive to 
build a road. One colleague pointed out what it cost him to build his 
own road.
  Yes, I agree it is extremely expensive to build roads, but the reason 
that we build these roads is that it is the public who pays for the 
roads. We build these roads so that companies can go in, get the timber 
out, but they do not pay for the roads.
  So that is why it is a problem. Yes, it is expensive and, yes, the 
public has paid twice: for the road and for the loss of the natural 
resources.
  Mr. Chairman, I am happy to yield to my colleague, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Miller).
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from 
Oregon for yielding, because she makes a very important point, that is, 
why we had so many roads; because nobody had to figure out the cost-
benefit of those roads.
  But if anybody wondered what the impact of the Smith amendment is 
without the Boehlert amendment, the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) 
got up and said he wanted to offer his amendment because it would take 
road building out of this bill.
  Yet the very people who have gotten up and spoken said the Smith 
amendment is key to continue road building. They cannot envision the 
bill without the Smith amendment, because they cannot envision this 
bill without road building, so therefore they want the Smith amendment.
  I think it is very clear that we need the Boehlert amendment, because 
the Smith amendment would eviscerate the moratorium with respect to 
these projects. These projects are so loosely defined that they can be 
a whole national forest.
  So we all know that the current law would not prohibit the road 
building that the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) talked about. In 
fact, under the Smith amendment, and the reason these people support 
the Smith amendment who have gotten up to speak here is because they 
are in support of road building, and they wanted more roads, and that 
is what the Smith amendment allows. So we should vote aye on Boehlert 
and no on Smith.
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from Wyoming (Mrs. Cubin).
  Mrs. CUBIN. Mr. Chairman, I do want to speak very briefly to rebut 
the argument by the sponsor of this amendment when he said that 
maintaining and repairing roads would not be possible. Well, if we read 
the amendment, we will see that in fact what I said is true, that 
maintaining and repairing roads is not possible, because it says ``or 
policy that is in effect.''
  The Clinton administration policy right now is to not allow those 
roads to be maintained and repaired. So I just want everyone to know 
that that was factual.
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, this is a sad day. I would think that 
this proposal would be funny because it is so extreme, if it were not 
so sad, with regards to what is actually happening in these public 
lands.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) tried to convince us that

[[Page H1677]]

the plain reading of this language would affect only presently 
designated roadless areas. He has been here a long time, and he knows 
how to read law, but he also knows how to try to convince people to 
vote for his amendment, because he is absolutely wrong.
  The plain reading of the language says that it not only reaches to 
what has been presently designated roadless, but all public forests, 
all public lands, and anything else that they want to dream up, 
including ecosystem management plans that are now going on in the 
Pacific Northwest, which, by the way, affects private and State 
resources also. So this is very, very far-reaching. I think that this 
demonstrates how far and how extreme this extreme environmental 
movement has reached.
  I know the gentleman from New York was very concerned about the 
Sherwood Forest, and he fought very hard for that. But if this proposal 
were made and employed against the Sherwood Forest, he would be as 
upset as we are.
  The issue also is public access. These lands, these public lands, 
especially in the West, were set up for humans to also have public 
access for recreational purposes, but also to be able to fight fires.
  Last year, in just 1 year, we burned more trees than we harvested in 
the whole history of the United States. We burned those trees, and they 
are left standing as lonely sentinels in the forest, and we are not 
able to get in and recover them because of the existing extreme 
policies. Now Mr. Boehlert wants to take it even further.
  Another problem is wildlife habitat. When we have burned forests, 
when we have forests that have been degraded of the foodstock for our 
wildlife, we lose our wildlife. In fact, in Idaho, the elk herd is 
diminishing because the habitat is diminishing.
  Watershed stability. We have heard debate today about the fact that 
roads create sediment in the streams. I could tell my colleagues that 
if all of these people who I have invited to come to the Northwest and 
view these forests situations with me, who also are on my committee, 
would accept the invitation and come out and see for themselves, they 
truly would see it is not the roads that are the biggest problem; it is 
unstable watershed because of fire. When the forests burn, of course it 
creates a situation where we have a lot of mud slides. That is what is 
destroying our streams.
  Again, I would like to say that this is a proposal that is extreme, 
the most extreme proposal I have ever seen. It ratifies and 
memorializes in law the illegal activity of the present administration 
in setting aside a roadless moratorium without the benefit of going 
through present legal requirements, like the National Environmental 
Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act. Even in the open houses 
that the Forest Service is having all over this Nation, especially in 
the West, the overwhelming opinion is against this roadless moratorium 
because it shuts humans out of the forests.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. CHENOWETH. I yield to the gentleman from California.

                              {time}  1300

  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentlewoman from Idaho (Mrs. Chenoweth) 
has expired.
  (On request of Mr. Pombo, and by unanimous consent, Mrs. Chenoweth 
was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, in the hearings of the Subcommittee on 
Forests and Forest Health that the gentlewoman held here in Washington, 
and I understand the gentlewoman has held field hearings on these 
issues as well, has this policy that has been proposed, not even 
enacted, but a proposed policy by the administration, is there any 
consensus out in the gentlewoman's area or anywhere throughout the 
West?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, in the West, in the areas where it will 
affect people, human beings, the consensus is very strongly against 
this roadless policy, very, very strongly against it.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, so the people that are affected by this 
directly, those people who have chosen to live and work near our 
national forests, are opposed to it; and yet this amendment, if 
adopted, would adopt this policy?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, I would say to the gentleman that they 
are strongly opposed to it not only because of their jobs, but because 
of their knowledge that it will continue to degrade the forest health.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, if the gentlewoman will continue to yield, 
is it the gentlewoman's understanding that the normal course of action 
around here is that before a normal law is enacted, Congress hold 
hearings and hold votes and have the great debate on that particular 
law before it becomes the law; and yet if this policy were adopted, we 
would have numerous policies and proposals from the administration 
which would all of a sudden become law. Is that the normal course?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, it is not the normal course, as I 
understand it and as most Americans understand it. It is a big 
disappointment.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, if the gentlewoman will yield further, does 
the gentlewoman know of any time in the history of Congress where we 
just willy-nilly adopted all policies and proposals from the 
administration?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, no, and such a vast 
policy would affect the national forests on one-third of our land base.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentlewoman from Idaho (Mrs. Chenoweth) 
has again expired.
  (On request of Mr. Pombo, and by unanimous consent, Mrs. Chenoweth 
was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, as chairwoman of the committee of 
jurisdiction over this issue, and probably the person with the greatest 
knowledge of our national forests, would the gentlewoman have any clue 
how many policies and proposals this could possibly impact?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, it would impact all 
of the public lands on one-third of the Western continent.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, I would ask the gentlewoman, how many 
policies and proposals are there out there that the administration has 
that this could possibly impact?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, again reclaiming my time, I would 
respond by saying, literally, hundreds of thousands.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, in talking about hearings on 
the Boehlert amendment, how many hearings were there on the Smith bill 
in the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, none.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, I would answer that by saying at least we 
are having debate and a vote on that. The gentleman from California 
(Mr. Miller) has no clue, all of the policies and proposals that the 
Boehlert amendment would include. We cannot even debate that single 
issue.
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, there is joint 
jurisdiction between the Committee on Resources and the Committee on 
Agriculture. There were seven hearings held on the Smith bill.
  Mr. HERGER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I support the Smith amendment before us and oppose the 
extreme amendment offered by the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Boehlert).
  The legislation of the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith) is a 
critical step forward as we seek to restore the health of our national 
forests. I am disappointed that there are some of my colleagues that 
would be willing to sacrifice the health of our national forest system 
to advance an extreme environmentalist agenda which could lead to no 
fuel reduction and no more road building on Federal lands.
  Our forests need the option of building roads as an integral tool in 
allowing access to restoring forest health. According to forest fire-
fighters in my

[[Page H1678]]

district in northern California, in order to survive wildfires are very 
often those areas that have been treated for fuel reductions. This 
means that the dense underbrush and the intermediate levels of trees 
are thinned, not clear-cut. They are not harvested using traditional 
commercial harvest methods, but carefully thinned so that fire will not 
destroy the entire forest. These threatened areas are also relatively 
safe havens for our fire-fighters as they battle a raging blaze as an 
untreated area of the forest.
  For the safety of our brave fire-fighter crews, as well as the health 
of our forests, we need the legislation offered by the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Smith), and we need it without the extreme Boehlert 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to refer now to two photographs next to 
me. These photographs graphically illustrate some of the problems that 
we must address before our forests are tragically destroyed by 
catastrophic fire. These gray areas represent both an unhealthy forest 
condition and an extraordinary fire hazard. Areas like this do not 
simply burn, they explode into devastating, highly intense fires, such 
as we see on the far left. These fires are absolutely devastating to 
the landscape. These areas must be treated.
  In 1994, our worst fire season on record, former chief of the Forest 
Service, Jack Ward Thomas, stated, quote, ``We cannot, in my opinion, 
simply step back and wait for nature to take its course. I do not 
believe that what has happened this fire season is acceptable as a 
solution to the problem. These fires of this scale and intensity are 
too hot, destructive, dangerous and too ecologically, economically, 
aesthetically and socially damaging to be tolerable,'' end of quote.

  Historically, Western forests were filled with stands of large trees, 
and the forest floors were less dense and were periodically thinned out 
by small fires that effectively removed dense underbrush while sparing 
the large trees.
  The Smith amendment is a science-based, environmentally sound 
mechanism to begin the long process of restoring our forests to a more 
natural state. This legislation prioritizes areas at the greatest risk 
of destruction, while complying with all, and I emphasize, complying 
with all, current environmental laws and forest plans. It establishes 
an independent scientific panel to ensure that all activities are 
applied in a way that improves forest health, using the best available 
and most current science. It establishes agency accountability for 
results on the ground and ensures fiscal responsibility by mandating 
annual reports to Congress. It also creates independent audits of 
agency performance. Most importantly, this legislation creates 
incentives for the Forest Service to make timely, efficient management 
decisions before our forests are destroyed by catastrophic fire.
  While some will argue that we should simply allow these forests to 
heal themselves over time, that approach does not adequately consider 
the tinderbox conditions of many areas of our national forests. We 
cannot simply pretend as though many decades of well-intentioned, but 
environmentally unwise fire suppression activities have not impacted 
our forests. We cannot just walk away from this problem.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to listen to the science, listen 
to the concerns.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from California (Mr. Herger) 
has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Herger was allowed to proceed for 2 
additional minutes.)
  Mr. HERGER. Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to listen to the 
science, listen to the concerns voiced by former Forest Service chief, 
Jack Ward Thomas. Vote against the extreme Boehlert amendment and vote 
yes on the Forest Recovery and Protection Act.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to make a special invitation to my colleagues. 
We in my district in northern California for each of the last 8 years 
have had what we call a woods tour to which we invite Members of 
Congress and others to come into our woods and see firsthand what we 
have in northern California to visit, some of the nine national forests 
that are in our beautiful area of the Sierra Nevada mountains and 
cascades and, too, as Paul Harvey would say, show you the rest of the 
story.
  Well, let me just share with my colleagues just a little bit of the 
rest of the story, and at this time I want to invite you to come with 
us on this year's tour which will be June 12, 13 and 14, to come and 
visit our forests. Let me show my colleagues some of what my colleagues 
would see there. Again, look at these forests here.
  We know about the heavy rains we are receiving this year and last 
year, but guess what? Over the last 12 years, 6 of those 12 years have 
been drought years; 5 of those 6 years have been continuous drought 
years, and what we see in our northern forests in northern California 
are many areas just as my colleagues see here of dead and dying trees.
  We have areas of our forests that are 60 and 70 percent dead and 
dying, and unless we have a road that can get us into these areas so as 
to be able to remove these trees, these trees, it is not a question of 
will they burn in an area where we have natural lightning strikes, it 
is only when they will burn; and when they do burn, not only are these 
gray areas completely burned, but they completely destroy all of the 
healthy areas.
  Again, I urge my colleagues' strong opposition to the extreme 
Boehlert amendment.
  Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Smith amendment and 
would urge this House and my colleagues to overwhelmingly reject the 
Boehlert amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I am struck by the irony and indeed the absurdity of 
what I hear from my friends on the left, and we hear echoes through 
history. One of the most absurd statements of our recent history was 
this: In order to save the village, we had to destroy it. And make no 
mistake, Mr. Chairman, the extreme notions offered in the Boehlert 
amendment offer the same rationale. For indeed, Mr. Chairman, I would 
invite all of my colleagues, as my colleague from California just has, 
to come to the 6th District of Arizona, to see what is about to 
transpire, and if some colleagues are more comfortable in the concrete 
canyons of Manhattan or the cocktail parties of the bay area, then that 
is fine, but I can tell them firsthand what exists in the 6th District 
of Arizona, in the wake of what transpired with our last bout with El 
Nino, we had rapid and massive undergrowth, and in the 6th District of 
Arizona, there was a fire that came to be known as the ``Dude Fire.'' 
It threatened real people.
  It is not a matter for humor, to some of the staffers who would smile 
in bemusement on this floor. It threatens the very livelihoods and 
homes of the people who live in the 6th District of Arizona. This is 
not some far-flung rationale for fund-raising by an interest group. 
This is not some way to get back at corporate America, for in 
abdicating our constitutional responsibility, as the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Pombo) from California so eloquently pointed out, we 
allowed, by bureaucratic fiat, the systematic destruction of homes and 
livelihoods across the country, but especially in the American West.
  Mr. Chairman, long before I came to this Chamber in the 103rd 
Congress, a group of dendrologists testified before various committees 
that because of a lack of reasonable forest management, a corridor of 
fire could extend from Idaho to Mexico, and what will happen in the 6th 
District. God forbid, but what most likely will happen is that we will 
have a fire this summer, and I hope not, I fervently pray not, but 
conditions can exist where we could have a fire that should not be 
named ``Dude 2,'' it ought to be named after the devil himself. And we 
have this type of inaction because it seems, sadly, that there are 
those who would abdicate the responsibility that we have 
constitutionally in favor of bureaucratic fiat and in favor of a 
misguided notion that if somehow we stop roadbuilding, if somehow we 
stop effective forest management, somehow we are saving the forests.
  Mr. Chairman, while there may be some ideological bank accounts in 
terms of mail order ideology and scaring the American people, the real 
fear should come from this, that we are threatening people's homes, we 
are threatening people's livelihoods and

[[Page H1679]]

fundamentally, we are threatening the very forests we allegedly have 
pledged to save.
  Mr. Chairman, with every ounce of sincerity and honesty, and while we 
acknowledge freely differences of opinion in this Chamber, Mr. 
Chairman, I appeal to this House not to abandon the rural citizens of 
America, not to abandon their livelihoods, their well-being, not to 
abandon reasonable forest management with what is a renewable resource.

                              {time}  1315

  This is a health and public safety issue my colleagues neglected for 
the sensational headlines of today, and at the same time put the lives 
and livelihoods of Americans at peril.
  I urge the Members, overwhelmingly, reject the Boehlert amendment, 
preserve the Smith language, preserve our national forests, preserve a 
way of life that calls for a true balance between environmental safety 
and economic well-being.
  Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. HAYWORTH. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding to 
me.
  Mr. Chairman, the Smith amendment does not change any current policy 
on roadbuilding. The Boehlert amendment would codify an administrative 
process on road moratoriums that is currently under a public hearing 
process and is not finished. I urge all of my colleagues to vote no on 
Boehlert, yes on Smith, and yes for forest health.
  Mr. BROWN of California. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Boehlert amendment.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BROWN of California. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from California for 
yielding to me.
  Mr. Chairman, I would point out, we did not raise this issue. We were 
offering no amendments until we needed to respond to the base amendment 
that was offered here. My amendment was not the extreme amendment. It 
is an effort to get back to the language in the original bill of the 
gentleman from Oregon, Chairman Smith.
  This amendment, my amendment, the perfecting amendment, applies only 
to programs in this bill, not to other Forest Service programs. I want 
to make certain everyone understands that clearly.
  Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BONIOR. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. MILLER of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding to me, 
Mr. Chairman.
  Mr. Chairman, we are about at the end of this debate, under the rule. 
I want to say to my colleagues who have been listening to the debate, 
we were told at the outset of this debate that this legislation had 
nothing to do with salvage. During the debate we learned it had a lot 
to do with salvage. Although we changed the words, it was still 
basically a salvage and commercial timber bill.
  We were told with the offering of the Smith amendment this debate and 
this bill had nothing to do with roads. Now we see, with the debate of 
the Smith amendment, it has everything to do with roads, because the 
proponents of this legislation do not believe that we can have forest 
health if we do not continue to push roads into roadless areas, into 
areas that have not yet been logged.
  Yet, all of the scientific data that we have gathered says that in 
fact the areas where there are already roads, where there is a $10 
billion backlog in the Federal effort to go back and try to restore and 
clean up those forests, those are the forests that are most devastated. 
Those are the forests that are the most denigrated by past policies. 
Yet, we are told by the proponents of this bill that unless we push 
roads into new areas we cannot have forest health.
  We cannot take care of the 380,000 miles of roads we have today. We 
have not even begun to repair those areas. We can do all of the salvage 
logging that the Federal budget will handle off of existing roads, and 
yet somehow they insist that they must have the right to push in tax-
subsidized roads into roadless areas.
  The roads we have in the national forests are greater than the roads 
we have in the National Highway System. We have more miles in the 
national forests than we have in the National Highway System. We have 
enough roads in the national forests to go around the world 16 times.
  Those roads are killing our national forests. Yet, the proponents of 
the Smith amendment, the proponents of the Smith bill, insist that they 
cannot have forest health without spending millions and millions of 
taxpayer dollars to subsidize roads into the new areas. That is why 
they are speaking so strongly in front of the Smith amendment. That is 
why the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) was forced to offer this 
amendment, to say stop, to say stop, because the Smith amendment 
provides for increased roadbuilding in the national forests.
  When my colleagues come here to vote on the floor, they have to vote 
for the Boehlert amendment to have any opportunity to restore forest 
health, and they have to vote against the Smith amendment, because it 
simply increases the waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars to build 
subsidized roads to take logs off of the forests, which continues to 
create the forest health problems we have.
  If we go to the top areas in the forest across the country where we 
have forest health problems, they are areas that have been heavily 
logged, they are areas that have been heavily roaded, and it has been 
devastating to the pocketbook of the taxpayer, it has been devastating 
to the local environment.
  Mr. Chairman, this is not about rural voters. In the State of 
California we have so over-roaded the Sierra Nevada that we now risk 
losing the entire forest in that area. Yet, our colleagues would have 
us believe that the only way we can save the Sierra Nevada is to punch 
more roads into it. We now find ourselves in the middle of every 
rainstorm having huge landslides that continue to destroy more of the 
forests, they destroy the roads, and they destroy the streams.
  That is the policy that this administration is trying to fix. That is 
the policy that the Smith amendment does not agree with. That is why 
they are pushing for the Smith amendment, to increase the obscene 
mileage of roads that are already in the national forests. That is why 
they need $150 million out of the current trust funds to pursue this. 
That is why they need another $100 million in taxpayers' money to 
pursue these roads.
  This should not be allowed to happen. We should vote yes on the 
Boehlert amendment and no on the Smith amendment.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I just have a question to ask. First of all, in my 
judgment this is a bill not about roads, it is not about logging, it is 
not about salvage, it is not about inappropriately using the taxpayers' 
dollars. This is a bill to target areas that need recovery. That is 
basically what this bill is, to recover those areas of our national 
forests that are having problems.
  Mr. Chairman, the area we are discussing now is on page 29, lines 15 
through 22. It starts out by saying, and this is the original language 
before it was amended, ``Prohibition on use of any funds,'' 
``prohibition on use of any funds to construct new permanent roads.'' 
It seems to me they can construct roads that are not permanent.
  What I would like to do, I would say that is a prohibition on new 
permanent roads in all recovery areas, all recovery areas, whether they 
are roadless or whether they are not roadless.
  My question to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert), could he 
explain his amendment briefly? The gentleman has a prohibition of?
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GILCHREST. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I would say for my distinguished 
colleague, the gentleman from Maryland, for whom I have the greatest 
respect, that this bill was not about roads primarily, initially, but 
this amendment suddenly makes it about roads.

[[Page H1680]]

  My amendment simply says for the programs in this bill, and only the 
programs in this bill, you cannot build roads in roadless areas. It is 
that basic.
  Mr. GILCHREST. So, Mr. Chairman, the gentleman's amendment would 
allow the building of roads in recovery areas that are not roadless 
areas?
  Mr. BOEHLERT. That is correct. The gentleman is correct.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GILCHREST. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate my colleague 
yielding to me.
  It was not my intention to speak on this matter. However, it is my 
understanding that the recovery areas have not been determined in any 
final form yet, and that there are portions of the forest that could 
very well be included in recovery areas that could be a surprise to 
almost anyone on the floor.
  I gather it has been suggested that the San Bernadino National 
Forest, which is in my territory, could very well be designated as a 
recovery area. If that was the case and San Bernadino National Forest 
was included, I would have to conclude that there would be some threat 
to the access to those forests that we might need if there were a 
horrendous fire. Can somebody help me with that?
  Mr. BOEHLERT. If the gentleman will continue to yield, Mr. Chairman, 
this is limited only to places where timbering already occurs or is 
likely to occur. So that is the original bill.
  What I am saying, what my perfecting amendment says, it wants to get 
more in line with the original language of the gentleman from Oregon 
(Chairman Smith), but the gentleman from Oregon (Chairman Smith) has 
been besieged by a few members of the conference to make an adjustment.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, my concern was 
trying to understand the nature of the amendment compared to the 
original text of the bill, and try to differentiate between the 
Boehlert amendment and the Smith amendment to the original text of the 
bill.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis) 
is recognized for the time remaining between now and 1:30 p.m.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could ask a 
question of my colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. Pombo).
  I had heard in the earlier debate that it is conceivable that as 
recovery areas are designated, that indeed, my own national forest 
could end up being possibly a part of a recovery area. Is that correct?
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. LEWIS of California. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. POMBO. Mr. Chairman, I would tell the gentleman, yes, it is 
correct.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Help me with this hypothetical; not exactly 
a hypothetical.
  Last year we had a major fire in the San Bernadino forest. In fact, 
my wife and I were driving past the front of that fire on a valley road 
and noted the helicopters up there, and said, my goodness, that is a 
very dangerous job these guys have. They were doing it because of a 
limitation of access, not available roads, et cetera. The following day 
we learned that one of those helicopters had crashed and this fellow, 
the pilot, was killed.
  Indeed, our region has huge problems with fire threats, and the 
national forest has been in horrid condition. I am concerned that if it 
were part of a recovery area, conceivably suddenly we would have a 
major limitation to repairing access roads, building necessary access 
roads.
  Is that the case in this circumstance?
  Mr. POMBO. Under this circumstance, that would be the case, Mr. 
Chairman. Unfortunately, I am familiar with the San Bernadino forest 
and I know it would be an excellent place for a recovery area, because 
it does need some help. But in trying to recover that particular 
forest, they would be limited by this amendment on being able to 
construct access points into that particular forest.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that this 
forest conceivably could be part of a recovery area. It has been under 
serious difficulty in recent years because of the recent history of dry 
weather. A spark could literally ungulf the whole mountainside.
  To pass an amendment that conceivably could put in jeopardy a 
protection program relative to preserving ourselves against fire 
disaster seems to me to be a pretty extreme position, for someone who 
lives in the territory, at any rate.
  Mr. POMBO. If the gentleman will continue to yield, Mr. Chairman, the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) is trying to have us believe 
that this amendment he has is somehow a limited amendment, in some way 
it is limited to one specific problem that he perceives there to be.
  The fact of the matter is, read his amendment. It says, any public 
policy that is in effect or has been proposed in the Federal Register. 
So there is no one on this floor today who can tell us how many public 
policies are in effect today, and how many have been proposed.
  So if the gentleman's forest is a recovery area, we are talking about 
any public policy that is in effect, or anything that has been proposed 
is going to be covered.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. LEWIS of California. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I want to point out that the example 
cited by the gentleman, and I am very sensitive to that, would be taken 
care of under existing Forest Service programs. This is a very narrow, 
targeted area.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. I would ask the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Boehlert), I have read his amendment with care. It says, following the 
word ``law,'' ``or policy that is in effect on the date of the 
enactment of this Act, or has been proposed in the Federal Register.''

                              {time}  1330

  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. LaTourette). Under the previous order 
of the House of Thursday, March 26, 1998, all time for consideration of 
amendments has expired. The Chair will now put the question on the 
pending amendments.
  The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Boehlert) to the amendment offered by the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Smith).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 2 of rule XXIII, the 
Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the time for a recorded vote, if 
ordered, on the underlying Smith amendment.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 200, 
noes 187, not voting 43, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 79]

                               AYES--200

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baesler
     Baldacci
     Barrett (WI)
     Bass
     Bentsen
     Berman
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Blagojevich
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Bonior
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Brown (CA)
     Brown (OH)
     Capps
     Carson
     Castle
     Chabot
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Costello
     Coyne
     Cummings
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (VA)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Diaz-Balart
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Doggett
     Ehlers
     Engel
     English
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Farr
     Fattah
     Fawell
     Fazio
     Filner
     Foley
     Forbes
     Fox
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Furse
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gephardt
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Goodling
     Gordon
     Goss
     Green
     Greenwood
     Gutierrez
     Hall (OH)
     Hamilton
     Hastings (FL)
     Hefner
     Hinchey
     Holden
     Hooley
     Horn
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Jackson (IL)
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (WI)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MA)
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kennelly
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     Kleczka
     Klug
     Kucinich
     LaFalce
     Lampson
     Lantos
     Lazio
     Leach
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     LoBiondo
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Luther
     Maloney (CT)
     Manton
     Markey
     Martinez
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McGovern
     McHale
     McIntyre
     McKinney
     Meehan
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Miller (CA)
     Miller (FL)
     Mink
     Moakley

[[Page H1681]]


     Moran (VA)
     Morella
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Neal
     Nussle
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pappas
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Pelosi
     Petri
     Porter
     Poshard
     Price (NC)
     Quinn
     Ramstad
     Reyes
     Rivers
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Rothman
     Roukema
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanders
     Sanford
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Scarborough
     Schumer
     Scott
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherman
     Skaggs
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith, Adam
     Snyder
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stark
     Stokes
     Strickland
     Sununu
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Thompson
     Tierney
     Torres
     Towns
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walsh
     Waxman
     Weldon (PA)
     Wexler
     Weygand
     White
     Woolsey
     Wynn
     Yates

                               NOES--187

     Aderholt
     Archer
     Armey
     Bachus
     Baker
     Ballenger
     Barcia
     Barr
     Barrett (NE)
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bateman
     Bereuter
     Bishop
     Bliley
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Boyd
     Brady
     Bunning
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Camp
     Campbell
     Canady
     Chambliss
     Chenoweth
     Coble
     Collins
     Combest
     Condit
     Cox
     Cramer
     Crane
     Crapo
     Cubin
     Cunningham
     Danner
     Deal
     Delahunt
     DeLay
     Dickey
     Dicks
     Dooley
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Edwards
     Ehrlich
     Emerson
     Ensign
     Everett
     Ewing
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Gallegly
     Gekas
     Gibbons
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Graham
     Granger
     Gutknecht
     Hall (TX)
     Hastert
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hill
     Hilleary
     Hilliard
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hunter
     Hutchinson
     Hyde
     Inglis
     Istook
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Kasich
     Kim
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Klink
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     LaHood
     Largent
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Livingston
     Lucas
     Manzullo
     Mascara
     McCrery
     McDade
     McHugh
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     McKeon
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Minge
     Mollohan
     Moran (KS)
     Myrick
     Nethercutt
     Neumann
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Oberstar
     Oxley
     Packard
     Parker
     Paul
     Pease
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Pickering
     Pickett
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Portman
     Pryce (OH)
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Redmond
     Regula
     Riggs
     Riley
     Rogan
     Rohrabacher
     Ryun
     Salmon
     Sandlin
     Schaefer, Dan
     Schaffer, Bob
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (OR)
     Smith, Linda
     Snowbarger
     Solomon
     Souder
     Spence
     Stearns
     Stenholm
     Stump
     Stupak
     Talent
     Tauzin
     Taylor (NC)
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Thune
     Thurman
     Tiahrt
     Traficant
     Turner
     Upton
     Wamp
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller
     Whitfield
     Wise
     Wolf
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--43

     Becerra
     Berry
     Bonilla
     Brown (FL)
     Bryant
     Cannon
     Cardin
     Christensen
     Clay
     Coburn
     Conyers
     Cook
     Cooksey
     Ford
     Frost
     Gonzalez
     Hansen
     Harman
     Hinojosa
     Houghton
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson, E. B.
     Lipinski
     Maloney (NY)
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McNulty
     Meek (FL)
     Millender-McDonald
     Paxon
     Payne
     Pomeroy
     Rangel
     Rogers
     Royce
     Sanchez
     Smith (TX)
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Wicker
     Young (AK)

                              {time}  1349

  Mr. HASTERT, Mr. RILEY and Mrs. CHENOWETH changed their vote from 
``aye'' to ``no.''
  Messrs. FAWELL, FOLEY, and HOLDEN changed their vote from ``no'' to 
``aye.''
  So the amendment to the amendment was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Pease). The question is on the amendment 
offered by the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Smith), as amended.
  The amendment, as amended, was rejected.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute, as amended.
  The amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed 
to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the Committee rises.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Pease) having assumed the chair, Mr. LaTourette, Chairman pro tempore 
of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported 
that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 
2515) to address the declining health of forests on Federal lands in 
the United States through a program of recovery and protection 
consistent with the requirements of existing public land management and 
environmental laws, to establish a program to inventory, monitor, and 
analyze public and private forests and their resources, and for other 
purposes, pursuant to House Resolution 394, he reported the bill back 
to the House with an amendment adopted by the Committee of the Whole.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the previous question is 
ordered.
  Is a separate vote demanded on the amendment to the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute adopted by the Committee of the Whole?
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, I demand we have a vote on the Smith 
amendment, as amended.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. That amendment was not reported to the whole 
House. It was defeated in the Committee of the Whole.
  The question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute.
  The amendment in the nature of a substitute was agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on engrossment and third 
reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 181, 
noes 201, not voting 48, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 80]

                               AYES--181

     Aderholt
     Archer
     Armey
     Bachus
     Baesler
     Baker
     Barcia
     Barr
     Barrett (NE)
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bateman
     Bereuter
     Bishop
     Bliley
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Boyd
     Brady
     Bunning
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Camp
     Canady
     Chambliss
     Coble
     Collins
     Combest
     Cox
     Cramer
     Crane
     Cubin
     Danner
     Deal
     Diaz-Balart
     Dickey
     Dooley
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehrlich
     Emerson
     English
     Ensign
     Everett
     Ewing
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Gallegly
     Gekas
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goodling
     Graham
     Granger
     Gutknecht
     Hall (TX)
     Hastert
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hill
     Hilliard
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hutchinson
     Hyde
     Inglis
     Istook
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Kasich
     Kim
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     LaHood
     Largent
     Latham
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Livingston
     Lucas
     Manzullo
     Mascara
     McCrery
     McDade
     McHugh
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     McKeon
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Moran (KS)
     Myrick
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Oxley
     Packard
     Paxon
     Pease
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Pickering
     Pickett
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Pryce (OH)
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Redmond
     Regula
     Riggs
     Riley
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Ryun
     Salmon
     Sandlin
     Schaefer, Dan
     Schaffer, Bob
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (OR)
     Smith, Linda
     Snowbarger
     Solomon
     Souder
     Spence
     Stearns
     Stenholm
     Stump
     Stupak
     Sununu
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tauzin
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Thune
     Thurman
     Tiahrt
     Traficant
     Turner
     Upton
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller
     Whitfield
     Wise
     Wolf
     Young (FL)

                               NOES--201

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baldacci
     Barrett (WI)
     Bass
     Bentsen
     Berman
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Blagojevich
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Bonior
     Borski
     Boswell
     Brown (CA)
     Brown (OH)
     Campbell
     Capps
     Carson
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chenoweth
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Condit
     Costello
     Coyne
     Crapo
     Cummings
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (VA)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Doggett
     Ehlers
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Farr
     Fattah
     Fawell
     Fazio
     Filner
     Foley
     Forbes
     Fox
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (NJ)

[[Page H1682]]


     Frelinghuysen
     Furse
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gephardt
     Gilman
     Gordon
     Goss
     Greenwood
     Gutierrez
     Hall (OH)
     Hamilton
     Hastings (FL)
     Hefner
     Hilleary
     Hinchey
     Holden
     Hooley
     Horn
     Hoyer
     Jackson (IL)
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (WI)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MA)
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kennelly
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     Kleczka
     Klink
     Klug
     Kucinich
     LaFalce
     Lampson
     Lantos
     LaTourette
     Lazio
     Leach
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     LoBiondo
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Luther
     Maloney (CT)
     Maloney (NY)
     Manton
     Markey
     Martinez
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McGovern
     McHale
     McIntyre
     McKinney
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Miller (CA)
     Minge
     Mink
     Moakley
     Mollohan
     Moran (VA)
     Morella
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Neal
     Neumann
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pappas
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Paul
     Pelosi
     Petri
     Porter
     Portman
     Poshard
     Price (NC)
     Quinn
     Ramstad
     Reyes
     Rivers
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogan
     Rothman
     Roukema
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanders
     Sanford
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Scarborough
     Schumer
     Scott
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Shays
     Sherman
     Skaggs
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith, Adam
     Snyder
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stark
     Stokes
     Strickland
     Tauscher
     Thompson
     Tierney
     Torres
     Towns
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Waxman
     Weldon (PA)
     Wexler
     Weygand
     White
     Woolsey
     Wynn
     Yates

                             NOT VOTING--48

     Ballenger
     Becerra
     Berry
     Bonilla
     Boucher
     Brown (FL)
     Bryant
     Cannon
     Cardin
     Christensen
     Clay
     Coburn
     Conyers
     Cook
     Cooksey
     Cunningham
     DeLay
     Edwards
     Ford
     Frost
     Gonzalez
     Green
     Hansen
     Harman
     Hinojosa
     Houghton
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson, E. B.
     Lipinski
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McNulty
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (FL)
     Parker
     Payne
     Pomeroy
     Rangel
     Rogers
     Royce
     Sanchez
     Smith (TX)
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Wicker
     Young (AK)

                              {time}  1409

  The Clerk announced the following pair:
  On this vote:

       Mr. Edwards for, with Mr. Green against.

  Mr. FOLEY and Mr. CRAPO changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  So the bill was not passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________