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AMERICAN FOREST & PAPER ASSOCIATION ISSUES STATEMENT

 WASHINGTON, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by Mark Rey, American Forest & Paper Association vice president of Forest Resources, on the Forest Service's fiscal 1992 TSPIRS results:
 "The consistent and continued attacks on the Forest Service timber sale program are reflected in the 1992 TSPIRS (Timber Sale Program Information Reporting System) results. In just four years, preservation group appeals, court injunctions, reduced Congressional funding and poor performance by the Forest Service have combined to reduce the national forest harvest levels from 11.9 billion board feet in 1989 to 7.3 billion in 1992.
 "Forests which traditionally made profitable timber sales and maintained cost-effective programs have now tumbled into the below- cost' category solely because of an inability to generate new sale revenues.
 "Even in the face of attacks on the program, Forest Service timber sales still generated $1 billion in revenues in 1992. Program costs totalled $731 million. Additionally, the timber sale receipts will fund $305 million in 25 Percent Fund payments to states.
 "Congress responded to the extreme and abnormal conditions surrounding the sale program and the Northern Spotted Owl in the Pacific Northwest and California by ensuring county payments based on historic harvest levels. Under the burden of this added requirement, the program lost money after payments to states for the first time since the depression of 1982.
 "In spite of this overall picture, several regions displayed strong profitable performances. For the first time since the accounting began, Forest Service regions in Montana, Idaho and Utah reported positive balances. The Rocky Mountain region in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota reduced its losses substantially. Aggressive efforts at cutting costs and strong timber markets fueled these gains.
 "Despite the reduced sale volumes, the Forest Service timber sale program provided 93,000 jobs, $4 billion in wages to workers nationwide and $634 million in federal income tax revenues. The program also provides an important tool for forest managers to restore and maintain forest health and to improve habitat for wildlife.
 "The Clinton Administration has called for elimination of below- cost timber sales in its deficit reduction package. Before the administration eliminates any timber sale programs and inflicts damage on timber-dependent communities, we encourage attention be paid to the excess costs and restrictions which hamper sale program profitability and timber availability. The forest industries stand ready to assist the Forest Service in improving program efficiency and profitability."
 -0- 3/8/93
 /CONTACT: Kent Robinson of AFPA, 202-463-2751/


CO: American Forest & Paper Association ST: District of Columbia IN: PAP SU:

JL-LS -- SD011 -- 4265 03/08/93 18:28 EST
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Date:Mar 8, 1993
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