SJR 12: Relating to the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; relating to the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, strategic plan known as "Reinvention of the Forest Service"; and advocating that implementation of the plan be suspended pending Congressional review and consultation with local governments.
00SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12 01 Relating to the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; relating 02 to the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, strategic plan 03 known as "Reinvention of the Forest Service"; and advocating that implementation 04 of the plan be suspended pending Congressional review and consultation with local 05 governments. 06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 WHEREAS the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, has issued 08 a new strategic plan known as "Reinvention of the Forest Service"; and 09 WHEREAS this plan has far-reaching implications and was developed without 10 consultation with key elected leaders, including state governors, members of the United States 11 Congress, or community and tribal government leaders in contradiction of President Clinton's 12 Executive Order No. 12875 "Enhancing Intergovernmental Partnerships"; and 13 WHEREAS Vice-President Gore's "Report on Reinventing Government" was 14 developed with the promised intent of empowering local governments and decentralizing
01 decision-making power; and 02 WHEREAS the "Reinvention of the Forest Service" strategic plan approved by 03 Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, just before his resignation, eliminates the very foundation 04 of locally based authority that had the responsibility of working with states, local communities, 05 and tribal governments and masks and diffuses decision-making authority and withdraws it 06 to Washington, D.C., making the Forest Service less responsive to local concerns; and 07 WHEREAS moving the Alaska Region Forest Service office to Portland, Oregon, is 08 an example of the flawed science being used to define ecosystems and ecological boundaries; 09 and 10 WHEREAS the newly defined purpose of the Forest Service to promote the 11 sustainability of ecosystems without specifically retaining the traditional Forest Service 12 objective of promoting community stability has already created problems and crises for 13 hundreds of communities dependent upon the national forests and state and private forest 14 ecosystems; and 15 WHEREAS the new strategic plan has seemingly turned away from commitment 16 towards providing a continuous flow of renewable resources to meet the public need, as 17 directed in the Organic Act, Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960, the National Forest 18 Management Act, and other Acts of the Congress; and 19 WHEREAS, under the new strategic plan, the Forest Service is more inclined to 20 present a nebulous plan for ecosystem management where resource yields are simply the 21 by-products of management, with no predictable flows or commitments to supply levels to 22 sustain human life; 23 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature calls upon the newly designated 24 Secretary of Agriculture to suspend implementation of the reinvention project's strategic plan 25 approved by Secretary Espy to allow for Congressional review and for consultation with local 26 governments; and be it 27 FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest 28 Service, conduct true partnership meetings with states, communities, and tribal governments 29 to develop a new strategic plan; and be it 30 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Forest Service acknowledge the United States 31 Department of Agriculture's legal obligations to rebuild, restore, and promote the economic
01 stability of forest dependent communities; and be it 02 FURTHER RESOLVED that, in keeping with federal law, timber commodities are 03 a primary not a residual value of forest management; and be it 04 FURTHER RESOLVED that Forest Service employee compensation and cost-of- 05 living allowance be reflective of timber production, and be it 06 FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest 07 Service, through a true partnership with local communities, identify and implement strategies 08 for decentralizing decision making and empowering state and local governments to more 09 effectively manage forest ecosystems to assure community stability, improve service to the 10 public, and reduce government cost. 11 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the 12 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President 13 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture; the Honorable 14 Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior; Jack Ward Thomas, Chief of the Forest Service, U.S. 15 Department of Agriculture; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank 16 Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of 17 the Alaska delegation in Congress.