by Jill Lancelot
June 17, 2004
For over two decades, the welfare kings in the timber industry have made out like bandits in the Tongass National Forest. Since 1982, the timber program has lost more than $750 million. In just 2002 alone, the Forest Service spent $36 million on the Tongass timber program and received only $1.2 million in revenue. Despite such losses, the Forest Service is once again preparing to send us down an expensive road to ruin by further increasing taxpayer subsidized logging that will require millions of dollars in wasteful, unneeded road-building expenditures and other costs.
Building new roads is akin
to throwing money down a rat hole. With 3,500 miles of roads
in the Tongass already, taxpayers shouldn't continue to build
roads they cannot use in order to shield timber companies from
the true cost of doing business. Worse, the Forest Service has
failed to maintain this vast system of logging roads and currently
faces a $900 million road maintenance backlog in the Tongass.
This amendment is a breath of fresh air and will help deflate
our bloated federal budget.
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