July 9, 1997
H.R. 858 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a pilot project
within the Plumas, Tahoe, and Lassen National Forests in California to
implement the Quincy Library Group (QLG) Community Stability Proposal. The QLG
proposal would address various aspects of forest management, including timber
salvage sales, fire hazard reduction, watershed and riparian area restoration
and monitoring, and forest planning.
The Administration supports the goals of H.R. 858 and is currently implementing the Quincy Library Group Proposal using existing statutory authority, consistent with environmental laws and available funding. Therefore, the Administration believes the pilot project required by H.R. 858 could be implemented administratively.
The substitute amendment to H.R. 858, as allowed under the rule, attempts to address several funding and environmental concerns previously expressed by the Administration. Based on an initial review of the draft substitute amendment, the Administration continues to have concerns that need to be addressed before it can support the amendment.
Subsection (m) of the substitute amendment specifically states that nothing in this section exempts the pilot project from any Federal environmental laws. Certain provisions in the amendment, however, are inconsistent with environmental law compliance or current environmental procedures. These provisions and others, as described below, could result in delays and confusion in implementing the pilot project and result in unnecessary litigation. The Administration will work with the Congress to resolve these issues as recommended below:
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