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