The timber supply pipeline is flowing again
In 1991, the federal timber supply pipeline was shut down to a mere trickle. A federal
court injunction put the timber sale program west of the Cascade mountains in a straight
jacket, because the federal government did not have a forest plan that was both
balanced and protected the region's forests, salmon, and water quality. A flurry of
lawsuits followed, gridlock engulfed the region, previous administrations failed to
address this dilemma, and during all of this activity of inaction, the timber supply
pipeline was running dry.
The President stepped up to the challenge to get a sustainable timber supply pipeline
flowing again. In 1994, the injunctions were lifted just two months after the President's
Forest Plan's record of decision was announced.
For the first time in three years, the legal logjam was broken, and federal timber sales
in the region of the northern spotted owl are moving forward.
- Timber sales and harvests are back on track, with the Forest Service and the
Bureau of Land Management working hard to move timber. Since the injunctions
More than 300 million board feet have been offered for sale from federal forest
lands in Washington, Oregon and northern California. Of that amount, 136 million
board feet comes from the west side of the Cascades.
More than 900 million board feet of timber is under contract and awaiting harvest
at the purchaser's discretion.
To date, nearly 870 million board feet have been harvested, enough to build 72,000
average homes and employ about 6,000 people.
- The President is making good on the government's commitment to honor millions
of board feet of timber sales that have been held in limbo for years.
Millions of board feet of timber sales came to a dead stop, tied up in the legal
morass of lawsuits and gridlock that existed prior to the Clinton administration.
255 million board feet of these deadlocked timber sales are now cleared and ready,
thanks to the re-inventing of government in the region, with the federal agencies
now working together as one government, coordinating their efforts, streamlining
reviews and processes.
Also, in the next three months the path will be cleared to release an additional 88
million board feet.
- Assuming that the federal agencies implementing the forest plan are given
sufficient resources to get the job done, and the fire season does not pull Forest
Service and Bureau of Land Management people away from timber sale planning,
an estimated 800 million to 1 billion board feet of timber will be offered for sale in
Washington, Oregon, and northern California by the end of this summer.