CSHJR 24(RES): Relating to challenging the environmental and economic integrity of Alaska timber as Christmas decor for the United States Capitol.

00CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24(RES) 01 Relating to challenging the environmental and economic integrity of Alaska timber 02 as Christmas decor for the United States Capitol. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS the Tongass National Forest has been chosen by the Clinton 05 Administration to provide Christmas trees to decorate the nation's Capitol and congressional 06 offices; and 07 WHEREAS the grace and beauty of Alaska's native tree species are well suited for 08 such a distinct purpose; and 09 WHEREAS Alaskans are a generous people, and their State's resources a tremendous 10 asset that if carefully managed by the people most closely affected can be the backbone of a 11 strong economy; and 12 WHEREAS trees harvested for the economic benefit of the people of the Tongass are 13 subject to full public comment and environmental review; and 14 WHEREAS, under normal conditions, the Alaska Legislature would regard the

01 opportunity to provide federal offices with Christmas trees from our national forest as the 02 highest compliment and honor; and 03 WHEREAS conditions are not normal, as one of Alaska's two pulp mills and the 04 state's largest sawmill have shut down while Alaska's remaining pulp mill has announced it 05 will close in March at a cost of thousands of jobs; and 06 WHEREAS, even with the recent signing of a three-year contract to supply wood to 07 Southeast Alaska's two largest sawmills, consistent supply remains a concern for their 08 continued existence; and 09 WHEREAS over 60 percent of Southeast Alaska's timber-related jobs have been 10 eliminated since 1990; and 11 WHEREAS the Clinton Administration has ignored the efforts of the Alaska 12 congressional delegation and the Alaska State Legislature to secure the livelihoods of the 13 workers, their families, and the timber dependent communities of Southeast Alaska; and 14 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature deems it inappropriate to harvest trees for 15 decorative purposes, and ask Southeast Alaskans to incur the cost, while Southeast Alaska 16 timber jobs are being extinguished, depressing the area's economy; and 17 WHEREAS what should be an honor is instead an affront as it carries the message 18 that careful harvesting of our trees is acceptable to decorate the nation's Capitol and the halls 19 of Congress, yet not acceptable to provide jobs for the people of Southeast Alaska; 20 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes harvesting of 21 Alaska's trees to provide pleasure for those far removed is symbolic of a failed national policy 22 which has cost Southeast Alaska communities thousands of year-round, family supporting jobs 23 and caused untold personal suffering; and be it 24 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska Legislature opposes the harvesting of 25 Christmas trees for the nation's Capitol and other federal and congressional offices from the 26 Tongass National Forest and urges that it not be done without full public comment and a 27 comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement; and be it 28 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests the Clinton 29 Administration to find another source for the 1998 White House Christmas tree festivities in 30 light of the social and economic hardship forced upon the unemployed timber workers, their 31 families, and the timber dependent-communities of the Tongass.

01 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the 02 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President 03 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Strom Thurmond, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. 04 Senate; the Honorable Trent Lott, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Thomas 05 Daschle, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the 06 U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Dick Armey, Majority Leader of the U.S. House 07 of Representatives; the Honorable Richard A. Gephardt, Minority Leader of the U.S. House 08 of Representatives; Secretary Dan Glickman, Department of Agriculture; Michael Dombeck, 09 Chief of the U.S. Forest Service; Philip Janik, Regional Forester, Region X, U.S. Forest 10 Service; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. 11 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 12 delegation in Congress.