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104,000 JOBS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILL BE LOST TO SPOTTED OWL PROTECTION, SAYS LABOR-BACKED STUDY

104,000 JOBS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILL BE LOST TO SPOTTED OWL
 PROTECTION, SAYS LABOR-BACKED STUDY


Forest Service Job Loss Estimates Inaccurate, Ignores Impact of

Protection Plan On All Public and Private Forests, UBCJA Reports
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- nearly 104,000 jobs could be lost in the Pacific Northwest as a consequence of spotted owl protection measures despite a much lower estimate by the United States Forest Service (USFS), according to an independent study released today by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
 The study, complied by Professor Wilbur R. Maki and research fellow Douglas Olson of the University of Minnesota, refutes job loss estimates released last month by the USFS. The Forest Service estimated 20,700 jobs would be lost in the Pacific Northwest if the preferred protection plan is implemented.
 "The Forest Service fails to acknowledge the full extent of job loss due to its preferred plan on USFS forest lands," said Denny Scott, staff economist at the UBCJA. "Additionally, the figures completely ignore the fact that the spotted owl protection measures would also extend to other public and all private lands, affecting far more workers than the USFS concedes," said Scott.
 The labor-backed study also notes that the Forest Service jobs loss estimate is based on an unrealistic assessment of timber harvests in the Pacific Northwest.
 "The Forest Service's calculations do not account for the extreme declining trend in annual timber harvests," explained Scott.
 "Even without considering the owl protection plan for all public and private lands," Scott said, "our study's analysis of timber harvest projections in the region shows that the current management plans will cost the three-state region affected by the owl approximately 43,700, or 23,000 more jobs than announced by the Forest Service."
 Scott noted that the Forest Service's environmental impact statement contains the true job loss estimate of 43,700, but the USFS chose not to publicize the higher, more realistic number.
 Jay Power, legislative representative for the AFL-CIO, said, "Despite all the fancy rhetoric and orchestrated photo-ops, it's clear that the Bush administration doesn't give a 'hoot' about the American worker, particularly the timber worker.
 "The 'kinder, gentler' George Bush has become Mr. 'smoke and mirrors,' hiding behind poor economic analysis," continued Power. "He's allowed himself to become a captive of the 'owl-science' cartel -- a group of white collar biologists who wouldn't recognize a timber worker if they ran into one."
 Added Scott: "We have seen several federal agencies release different job loss estimates for the Pacific Northwest during the past two years -- all of which have underestimated the real impact on families of locking-up productive forest land to protect the owl.
 "It's essential to have an accurate portrayal of the economic impact of protecting the owl," Scott argued. "Job loss in the timber industry would have wide-ranging effects -- affecting construction costs, housing starts and the price of a broad array of paper products.
 "For instance," said Scott, "the USFS preferred protection program would decrease the amount of available softwood by the equivalent of 280,000 houses -- more than one-fourth of the total number of homes built in the United States last year.
 "As long as one-sided solutions are sought by environmentalists to protect the spotted owl, timber-related workers, their families and communities -- as well as workers throughout the country -- will continue to suffer the severe consequences," he added.
 Power and Scott called upon the Bush administration to once and for all undertake a comprehensive analysis of the impact spotted owl protection measures would have on all ownerships.
 "The Bush administration must provide workers, their families and the rest of America with an accurate picture of the situation they may face, instead of giving us the slices without the whole pie," said Power.
 -0- 2/13/92
 /CONTACT: Robin Shapiro, 202-452-9462, or Denny Scott, 202-546-6206, 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: SU:


TW -- DC031 -- 9873 02/13/92 15:33 EST
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Date:Feb 13, 1992
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