For Immediate Release, September 18, 2013
Contact: Randi Spivak, (310) 779-4894
Obama Administration Opposes Forest Bill That Would Mean More Clearcuts,
Fewer Protections for Land, Wildlife, Water
WASHINGTON— The Obama administration today announced its opposition to H.R. 1526, a House of Representatives forest bill, because it would weaken laws meant to protect public lands, wildlife, water and ecosystems. The so-called Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act is sponsored by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and includes a key provision sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio, (D-OR), ranking minority member of the committee.
“We’re glad President Obama is finally taking a strong stand against legislation that would open the door to clearcutting our forests and weaken vital protections for water and wildlife,” said Randi Spivak, public lands director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
Among the provisions in the bill are those that would more than doubling logging on publicly owned federal forests, putting timber revenues ahead of clean water, fish and wildlife as well as create barriers for citizens to uphold important environmental laws. The DeFazio provision would essentially privatize about 1.5 million acres of public forests in western Oregon and exempt those lands from federal protections for imperiled species and proven policies to protect water and wild salmon.
“I hope that the administration’s public opposition to these bills also sends a strong signal to the Senate that any legislation that similarly weakens protections for water, wildlife and forests will be dead on arrival,” Spivak said.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.