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BOYLE CRITICIZES LOG EXPORT LEGISLATION AS UNNECESSARY; HE CITES BACKLOG OF UNCUT TIMBER, EXPORT BAN HELPING FEW MILLS

 BOYLE CRITICIZES LOG EXPORT LEGISLATION AS UNNECESSARY; HE CITES BACKLOG OF UNCUT TIMBER, EXPORT BAN HELPING FEW MILLS
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR):
 Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Brian Boyle today blasted proposed legislation in Congress that would ban all log exports from state lands. The measure was introduced today by U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton and U.S. Rep. Rod Chandler.
 "Log exports are an emotional issue and this proposed legislation may play well politically, but it's unnecessary," Boyle said. "The reality is the Department of Natural Resources has 19 months worth of timber already sold to domestic processors that remains uncut. The problem is not a shortage in timber supply, but a lack of demand for wood products due to a sluggish economy and a soft housing market."
 Boyle also pointed out that the restrictions on log exports in Washington state have not helped the mills Congress intended to help.
 "Only seven companies have purchased more than half of the 136 export-restricted timber sales sold by DNR since January 1991. Viewed another way, a total of 65 percent of the export-restricted sales volume has been purchased by only 10 percent of the 125 companies eligible to bid on state-restricted sales," Boyle said.
 Boyle added, "Some of the timber restricted from export isn't even staying in Washington. Six out-of-state companies -- five of which are from Oregon -- have purchased 11 percent of the total export- restricted volume."
 Boyle also said that log export restrictions are helping only eight companies that were previously dependent on federal timber.
 Boyle said today's legislation duplicates the current law. "There's a mechanism in the existing law that allows a 100-percent ban, if market conditions indicate it's necessary. Given the economy and today's soft market conditions, a complete ban is not needed."
 Federal legislation, which took effect in January 1991, prohibited the export of 75 percent of timber on state lands. In December 1991, the U.S. Commerce Department upheld the 75-percent restriction instead of imposing a complete ban.
 Boyle has long argued that Washington public schools are the losers in log export restrictions. State timber sales revenue helps fund public school construction in Washington. During the 1990s, reduced timber sales revenue from existing export restrictions could cost schools up to $1 billion.
 -0- 2/27/92
 /CONTACT: Sandi Snell of Washington State Department of Natural Resources, 206-753-5330/ CO: Washington State Department of Natural Resources ST: Washington IN: SU:


JH-SC -- SE005 -- 3539 02/27/92 19:36 EST
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Date:Feb 27, 1992
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