from off Camber Crawlers 4wd club in Wash DC
Here is a post from one of our members who is a congressinal aide
It is interesting stuff about the Forest service actions...
Feel free to pass it on.
Subject: [OCC_list] Energy SubCmte Oversight hearing
Normally, sub-committee hearings are not well attended by either
staff, press, or the public. This one was different. CSPAN even
(maybe some of you saw me!).
The Secretary of Agriculture decided to "drop in" in what we think was a
overwhelm the few Republicans that probably would have shown up, but the
Republicans got word of it and showed up in force. The following is a
who was there and their positions:
Sen. Larry Craig R-ID, Energy Sub-Committee Chairman
Sen. Slade Gorton R-WA
Sen. Ben Nighthorse-Campbell R-CO
Sen. Gordon Smith R-OR
Sen. Craig Thomas R-WY
Sen. Frank Murkowski R-AK, Energy (full) Committee Chairman
(when he walked in, the greenies behind me moaned; later they called
[censored] and I almost turned around to ask them what organization
for so that I could send them hate mail)
Sen. Conrad Burns R-MT
Sen. Don Nickles R-OK, Assistant Majority Leader
(when he walked in, I knew this was gonna be good. Although not an
member of the committee, as Assitant Majority Leader he is
Sen. Ron Wyden D-OR, Ranking Minority member of the subcommittee
Sen. Jeff Bingaman D-NM, Ranking Minority member of the full committee
Testifying were Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, Under-Secretary
Lyons, Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck. My senator ripped them all
Some of the highlights include Sec. Glickman trying to compare Ruby
Waco to some greenies protesting a Forest Service timber sale, Sen.
threatening them with a smaller budget, Sen. Smith asking why the USFS
built a brand new building in Lakeview, OR (where I used to live) when
killed the timber industry in that town, and all of the Republicans
that the Forest Service was mis-appropriating funds.
I've never seen Murkowski so pissed off (I think some things in our own
set him off earlier, but it helped his mood). He and the Secretary went
at the top of their lungs. The Republicans felt that the President had
overstepped his boundaries, the "closed unless posted open" policy was
ridiculous, and Murkowski said that this administration had the worst
history. Murkowski and Thomas both asked Dombeck how he planned to
new forest areas, and he didn't have an answer. So then they blatantly
they would be managed as wilderness, and all three of the panelists just
and hawed. The committee accused the administration of selling out to
extremist environmental movement, and Sen. Burns titled one of his
the Gore Campaign with 40 million acres of Wilderness."
Sen. Craig went into the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) that had
prepared for this initiative and how long it typically takes to
something like this. Dombeck answered anywhere from 2-6 years depending
issue. So how can an EIS that covers ALL of the US National Forest have
through without anybody hearing about it, and how does it make sense
that such a
diverse set of forests be covered by ONE EIS???
Obviously they didn't just focus on roadless issue, but it was mentioned
many times, and none of the Senators were happy about it. The Democrats
make an effort to be nice, but the Republicans were pissed. The hearing
from 9:30 to almost 12:00 (with about an hour break for a vote). I
in a great mood and these Republican Senators just became my heroes. I
something will come of this.