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FOREST SERVICE SPOTTED OWL GUIDELINES HINDER STATE ECONOMIC RECOVERY EFFORTS

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued today by the California Forestry Association:
 "The new U.S. Forest Service guidelines for California spotted owl management will cost California 12,000 to 15,000 jobs and slap down an already reeling state economy that has been struggling unsuccessfully to recover from the depths of the recent recession -- especially in rural areas." That was the reaction of William N. Dennison, president of the California Forestry Association, to Wednesday's announcement by the U.S. Forest Service that it will adopt stringent new guidelines for management of California's spotted owl habitat.
 According to Dennison, timber production figures released by the Forest Service are misleading. The predicted downfall will be 50-60 percent -- not 27 percent as indicated by the Forest Service. "The agency has sold only half of its budgeted sales volume during the last couple of years," he explained. Based on that performance record, Dennison predicts that the Forest Service timber sales in 1993 will be only half of the predicted volume -- 1994 will be worse.
 "The Forest Service has elected to 'play God' with peoples' lives based on junk science and threats of lawsuits by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC). Rural families, communities and county receipts will suffer immediate social and economic devastation," said Dennison.
 A review of alternatives done at the University of California at Berkeley shows that other alternatives could have been selected that would have given equally as much protection to owl habitat without the major impact on timber supply. "It is not clear," Dennison said, "why the Forest Service ignored that advice."
 The real loser in this situation, according to Dennison, will be the rural communities as well as the nation's homeowners. Already, because of unnecessarily restrictive management policies for northern spotted owls, the price of lumber for the average new home has increased by $7,000. The first time home buyer will suffer first and hardest.
 -0- 1/14/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Craine or John Hofmann of the California Forestry Association, 916-444-6592/


CO: California Forestry Association ST: California IN: PAP SU:

TM-MC -- SF003 -- 4849 01/14/93 11:49 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1993
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