Losing proposition

Published: Thursday 30 September 1993

US PRESIDENT Bill Clinton was right when he predicted not everyone would be pleased with his solution to the timber crisis in the northwestern states (Down To Earth, May 31, 1993). Both environmentalists and timber workers are up in arms against his proposal, which calls for reducing logging to 25 per cent of the level in the late 1980s. It also proposes spending $1.5 billion over five years to help retrain retrenched timber industry workers.

Ecologists are unhappy because Clinton's proposal would allow some logging in the northwest's ancient forests. Even the practice of forest rangers felling unhealthy trees in designated reserves is open to abuse, they say.

Meanwhile, loggers and other timber camps contend the plan could wipe out 85,000 jobs and complain the economic aid package is woefully inadequate.

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