Members of the House Interior Appropriations committee recognize that timber sales are costly to taxpayers in the Tongass - to the tune of hundreds of millions lost in recent years. If enacted into law, the provision could save taxpayers money while safeguarding habitat for fish and wildlife.
Representative Newhouse (R-WA) introduced an amendment to strip various provisions, including the Tongass language. Representatives McCollum (D-MN) and Quigley (D-IL) gave strong rebuttals before the amendment failed on a party line vote.
Thank you to Reps. Quigley, McCollum, Blumenauer and Gallego for watching out for Alaskans and Americans, and hunters and anglers, rather than the timber industry!
Here's a bit of what Rep. Quigley had to say (or, you may watch by clicking the video below):
“One of the provisions in the bill that this amendment seeks to strip would end millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to the timber industry in Alaska and stop the irreparable damage to the Tongass National Forest, a treasured part of our unique national heritage. The Tongass attracts hunters and sportsmen from around the world, is home to diverse ecosystems, and numerous Alaska Native Communities. And it is one of the most important natural carbon sinks on the planet, playing a critical role in slowing man-made climate change. But by some estimates taxpayer subsidies for logging in the Tongass cost taxpayers $31.6 million per year and yield $1.7 million in return, a loss of nearly $30 million per year that I hope alone would be enough reason for my friends across the aisle to oppose the continuation of this wasteful policy. The provision that this amendment seeks to remove would save taxpayers money and protect our natural resources. For that reason I urge a no vote.”