Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/21/1995 05:20 PM WTR

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HWTR - 03/21/95                                                               
 SJR 12 - U.S. FOREST SERVICE PLAN                                           
 Number 057                                                                    
 JOE AMBROSE, Legislative Assistant to Senator Robin Taylor, stated            
 that SJR 12 is to centralize decision making in Washington, D.C.              
 Under "Reinvention," regional forest supervisors and other front              
 line leaders who now have decision making authority would be                  
 replaced with four-person "leadership" teams answerable only to the           
 Chief of the Forest Service and the Secretary of Agriculture.  Gone           
 is the pretense of involving local and state governments in United            
 States Forest Service decisions.  The plan goes so far as to                  
 consolidate the regional offices now located in Alaska and Montana            
 to a central office in Oregon.  SJR 12 calls for suspension of this           
 plan and true partnership meetings with states, communities and               
 tribal governments.  The goal would be the development of a new               
 plan, one that would involve affected entities up-front.  The                 
 "Reinvention" scheme goes far beyond the relocation of regional               
 offices.  If left to stand, it will mean a new era of Forest                  
 Service policy dictated from on high, without consulting the very             
 people most impacted by those policies.                                       
 Number 099                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked a clarifying question, if the resolve             
 pertained to "former" Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Espy.                    
 MR. AMBROSE said yes, and there is no objection to many elements of           
 the Reinvention Plan; it is the fact that plan, if implemented,               
 removes the decision making process even farther away than it is              
 now.  It is more than just moving a regional office from Alaska to            
 Oregon.  It's moving the decision making authority to Washington,             
 Number 114                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS asked if the Alaska congressional                     
 delegation had been approached about this idea and what their                 
 position is.                                                                  
 MR. AMBROSE said the delegation is in full agreement with the                 
 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER made the motion to pass SJR 12 out of                   
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES called for the question.  Hearing no                    
 objections, SJR 12 passed out of committee.                                   

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