HJR 32: Relating to the Tongass Land Management Plan and to continued Congressional oversight of that plan.
00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 32 01 Relating to the Tongass Land Management Plan and to continued Congressional 02 oversight of that plan. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS employment and economic prosperity in Southeast Alaska are inextricably 05 linked to the resources of the Tongass National Forest and are dependent on the management 06 of those resources; and 07 WHEREAS jobs in the forest products industry are an important element of the 08 economic diversity of Southeast Alaska and should provide an opportunity in the region for 09 communities to maintain healthy economies; and 10 WHEREAS approximately 60 percent of timber industry jobs have been lost since 11 passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Act of 1990; and 12 WHEREAS the establishment of a value-added forest products industry in Southeast 13 Alaska can occur only as a segment of a fully integrated forest products industry capable of 14 the harvesting, transporting, and primary processing of raw forest products into a form usable
01 by the value-added sector of the industry; and 02 WHEREAS the Alaska Congressional delegation has consistently supported the 03 historic sustainable harvest levels from the Tongass National Forest that are of vital 04 importance to all Southeast Alaska communities and continues to work for the restoration of 05 the socioeconomic vitality of communities devastated by the failure of the federal government 06 to meet contractual and Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) commitments; and 07 WHEREAS the Governor's Timber Task Force has determined that an annual harvest 08 of 300 MMBF is the minimum level necessary to sustain an integrated timber industry in 09 Southeast Alaska; and 10 WHEREAS the draft TLMP Environmental Impact Statement indicates no viability 11 problem for any species of wildlife or fish on the Tongass National Forest under any of the 12 proposed plan alternatives for at least the next 10 - 15 year planning cycle; and 13 WHEREAS the United States Forest Service testified before oversight hearings held 14 by Senator Murkowski last summer that the draft TLMP was based on the best science 15 available and indicated no current viability problem for any species of fish or wildlife on the 16 Tongass National Forest; and 17 WHEREAS the United States Forest Service's wildlife conservation model is based 18 on inadequate data and science extrapolated from models developed for use with South Seas 19 Islands species; and 20 WHEREAS the lack of any near-term viability crisis for any species of fish or wildlife 21 on the Tongass National Forest provides the opportunity for maintaining a steady course while 22 the necessary Tongass-based science on which to base a long-term conservation strategy is 23 developed; and 24 WHEREAS, after 10 years of data gathering, analysis, and planning by the United 25 States Forest Service, the people of Southeast Alaska are still burdened by the uncertainty of 26 a stable, reliable timber supply; and 27 WHEREAS adoption of a final TLMP alternative incapable of providing for a 28 minimum 300 MMBF harvest level will almost certainly cause substantial additional job loss 29 and economic dislocation in the communities of Southeast Alaska that are dependent on a 30 stable supply of timber for all or part of their economic well-being; 31 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the efforts of the
01 Alaska Congressional delegation, in its oversight responsibilities, to ensure that the Tongass 02 National Forest restores and continues to provide for the socioeconomic vitality of the 03 communities of Southeast Alaska; and be it 04 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports, at a minimum, 05 the recommendation of the Governor's Timber Task Force that a harvest level of 300 MMBF 06 be maintained, because any decision to further reduce the harvest level in the Tongass below 07 that volume will continue the devastation of the existing timber industry infrastructure 08 throughout Southeast Alaska and preclude the reestablishment of an integrated forest products 09 industry in Southeast Alaska; and be it 10 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature strongly objects to any 11 reduction below an annual harvest level of 300 MMBF from the Tongass National Forest and 12 urges that the Tongass Land Management Plan Record of Decision be issued without further 13 delay; and be it 14 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports continued 15 Congressional oversight and review of the adequacy of the science, social and economic 16 analysis, and process employed by the United States Forest Service in order to ensure that any 17 decisions by the United States Forest Service are not detrimental to the social and economic 18 well-being of the communities and people of Southeast Alaska and that all decisions are 19 scientifically credible and legally defensible. 20 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the 21 Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. 22 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.