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AMERICAN FOREST RESOURCE ALLIANCE: JOB LOSS OF 147,000 SEEN IN REP. MILLER CHOICE

 AMERICAN FOREST RESOURCE ALLIANCE:
 JOB LOSS OF 147,000 SEEN IN REP. MILLER CHOICE
 WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the American Forest Resource Alliance (AFRA):
 A bill introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) to resolve the Pacific Northwest and California federal forest crisis will cause massive economic disruptions if approved in the form many believe Miller desires, said a timber industry study released today.
 Press reports and informed speculation by western Congressmen indicate that Miller wants to invoke alternative 12-C, one of 14 options offered Congress last summer to manage old growth and wildlife on public lands.
 That alternative under Miller's bill (HR 4899) would result in 146,916 lost jobs on public and private lands in Washington, Oregon and Northern California, and $6 billion in lost income, said a multi- faceted report prepared by the American Forest Resource Alliance.
 "The employment and income loss figures represent a 51-percent drop in both categories from the base years of 1983-1987," said Alliance Chief Economist Dr. Con Schallau. "The impacts are almost identical to the bill introduced last year by Rep. Jim Jontz (D-Ind.), the most draconian piece of forestry legislation I've ever seen."
 Besides high job losses, the Alliance study also estimated a drop in federal taxes of $570 million and reduced payments to counties from timber sales of $218 million.
 Miller's bill, the Old Growth Forest Reserve Act, returns to center stage the so-called "Gang of Four" report, formally known as "Alternatives for Management of Late-Successional Forests of the Pacific Northwest."
 The report, by a panel of four scientists, dealt only with public lands and, based on just six weeks of work, called for timber harvest alternatives ranging from more than 5 billion board feet annually down to less than 700 million board feet a year.
 The Miller bill, itself, offers no substantive legislative answer to the problems in the region. It merely asks Congress to pick one of the panel's 14 alternatives as its preferred solution.
 In addition to estimated economic impacts of Alternative 12-C, the Alliance study also looked at the legal impact of the proposed bill and shortcomings in the "Gang of Four" report.
 "There are so many problems with the bill it is virtually unworkable as a solution to the timber and spotted owl crises in the region," said Alliance Legal Affairs Director William Murray.
 "It's simply a forest reserve bill," Murray said. "It doesn't offer any solution to current and future litigation over federal land management policies, it doesn't provide a predictable timber sale program, it has no safety net for those who will lose their jobs and it overrides existing statutes on multiple-use management of federal lands."
 Members of Congress who allow themselves to believe that the "Gang of Four" report is sound science are being "duped," said Alliance Executive Director Mark Rey.
 "In their haste to complete a product, the panel limited its view of potential management options, relied on untested assumptions and developed a phony analysis which they masquerade as sound science," he said.
 He noted that the panel relied on "obsolete research and improper methodology" from the Interagency Scientific Committee's 1990 report, that its risk analysis represented their opinion rather than science and that it failed to consider the contribution that preserved areas, such as wilderness and national parks, could contribute to owl and old growth solutions.
 "The forest workers and rural communities of the area -- and Congress -- deserve something better: sound, rational choices derived from fact and the latest research," he said.
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: Barry Polsky, 202-463-2455, or Kevin Brett, 503-222-7456, both of the American Forest Resource Alliance/ CO: American Forest Resource Alliance ST: Oregon, California, Washington IN: PAP SU:


JH-SC -- SE013 -- 3355 04/27/92 16:26 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1992
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