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CARPENTER'S UNION ASKS CONGRESS TO REVISE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, CALLS FOR BALANCE BETWEEN SPECIES PROTECTION AND HUMAN NEEDS

CARPENTER'S UNION ASKS CONGRESS TO REVISE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT,
 CALLS FOR BALANCE BETWEEN SPECIES PROTECTION AND HUMAN NEEDS
 WASHINGTON, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The 600,000-member United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), called on Congress today to revise the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to balance the goals of species preservation with socioeconomic considerations. Denny Scott, UBCJA Industrial Department assistant director, testified that ESA, as it is currently being interpreted, implemented and litigated, has already cost thousands of workers their jobs in the Pacific Northwest and is devastating families and communities.
 Scott stated: "Protection of the northern spotted owl provides a dramatic example of why the current Endangered Species Act is not working. Listing of the spotted owl as a threatened species and the designation of protected owl habitat has removed millions of acres of federal, state and private land from timber production. In the past two years alone, almost 18,000 timber workers in the Pacific Northwest have lost their jobs largely due to ESA-driven harvest restrictions."
 "Spotted owl habitat designation is breaking up families and causing communities to disintegrate," stated Scott. "Plant closures continue -- since January of 1990, 110 have permanently closed. The unemployment caused by spotted owl habitat designation is creating homelessness and increasing reliance on food banks by families who were hardworking people leading productive lives. Unemployment benefits are exhausted, families have no health care benefits and job training funds are depleted."
 Scott submitted a study conducted by Professor Wilbur Maki and Research Fellow Douglas Olson of the University of Minnesota which revealed that nearly 104,000 jobs eventually could be lost in the Pacific Northwest due to spotted owl protection.
 Scott called for "balance between the goals of wildlife protection and the human, social and economic consequences of such actions. The act should require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct competent socioeconomic studies in the proposed listing process to protect threatened species while minimizing economic dislocation and job losses. In the short-term, we seek your support for passage of the Federal Lands and Families Protection Act (S. 1156). On a long-term basis, we urge your support for amendments to ESA that will protect threatened species, yet preserve the livelihoods of human beings."
 Scott also stated that UBCJA's position is consistent with that of the 14 million member American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Denny Scott, 202-546-6206, or Lucy Flinn, 202-452-9436, both for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America/ CO: United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America ST: District of Columbia IN: PAP SU: LEG


MH -- DC024 -- 9813 05/13/92 15:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 13, 1992
Words:445
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