The Past and Future of the Columbia River Basin

Part 7

Big Business, Congress, and the Public's Lands

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

(This text needs to be adjusted, it is not aligned into articles in all cases.)


Editorial 3

Forest Watch 4

A Call To Action 6

Conservation Updates: Current Events in the News 7

Big Business, Congress, and the Public's Lands

1. Politics of Forest Devastation 23

2. Revolving Doors 30

3. Corporate Money and Political Power............36

4. Reform? .............................................................45

For material from The Spokesman-Review: Permission to reprint is granted in the interest of public debate and does not constitute endorsement of any opinions of the Public Lands Council or any other organization.


(1) Smith, Hedrick. The Power Game: How Washington Works. Ballantine Books. 1988.

(2) Wilkinson, Charles F. Crossing the Next Meridian: Land, Water, and the Future of the West. Island Press. 1992.


Photographs reprinted in TRANSITIONS dated 1968 showing the confluence of the South Fork and North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene Rivers are courtesy of Fred Rabe. See also: Rabe, Fred and Flaherty, David C. The River of Green and Gold: A pristine wilderness dramatically affected by man's discovery of gold. Idaho Research Foundation, Inc. Natural Resource Series. Number 4.



Journal of the IEPLC

The Inland Empire Public Lands Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to the transition of the greater Columbia River ecosystem from resource extraction to long term community and biological sustainability.


Dave Crandall Executive Director
Debbie Boswell Office Manager
Deb Hamm Development
Barry Rosenberg Director, Forest Watch
Sara Folger F.W. Coordinator
Mike Peterson F.W. Monitoring Coordinator
Kay Stoltz F.W. Office Assistant.
Debbie Sivas Director, Public Lands Legal Program

Transitions Team

Chuck Carter - Illustrations Tammy Sundquist -Text
Derrick Jensen - Associate Editor Amy Morrison - Editorial assistant Guadalupe Flores - Layout Easy - Production Advisor Dennis House - Photo Reproduction

Board of Directors

Matthew Anderson
Eugene Annis
Jo Austin
Sue Coleman
Renee LaRocca
Tom May
John Osborn, MD
Dick Rivers, MD
Liz Sedler
Mark Solomon
Paula Whitson
Mailing Address: IEPLC, P.O. Box 2174 · Spokane, WA 99210
Office: W. 315 Mission · Spokane, WA 99210 · Phone: (509) 327-1699 · Fax: (509) 328-4380
all contributions are tax deductible

Big Business, Congress, and the Public's Lands


"If you've ever dealt with an Armenian rug salesman, it's the same process. . . . It's like dealing for cars, or like buying something in an antique store."

Sen. James McClure, 1989, on how he got Congress to allocate millions of tax dollars to build logging roads in National Forests.

Here in eastern Washington the public has been barraged by seemingly endless paid political advertisements. Wads of corporate money have surged into the Pacific Northwest to influence 1994 Congressional elections. For what purpose? Political power. Think about corporate wealth and political power when you think about the past and future of the Columbia River region.

Much of this corporate wealth derives from Congress's 19th century frontier laws, such as the 1864 Northern Pacific railroad land grant and the 1872 Mining Law. These and other environmentally destructive and fiscally irresponsible frontier laws, policies, and ideas are described by public lands legal scholar Charles Wilkinson as the West's "Lords of Yesterday." During the last century Congress unleashed behemoth corporate forces that today pervasively influence the West's landscapes, communities, and political institutions in part by pouring money into electing and influencing Congress.

For years the corporate "Lords of Yesterday" have held a virtual lock on the political power that drives decisions on the public's lands in the West. The corporations work in political power structures called "Iron Triangles," described by former Washington, D.C. correspondent Hedrick Smith, in his book The Power Game: How Washington Works. An iron triangle links (1) special interests, (2) members of Congress, and (3) federal agencies. Why "iron"? Because in these power triangles the partners want an unbreakable lock on policy decisions, keeping out the public. The military-industrial complex is one example where the public is kept at bay.

Iron Triangles dominate Congress's decisions about the National Forests, mining, and the Columbia River's fisheries and hydropower.

James McClure, former U.S. Senator and today a corporate lobbyist, helps give the Iron Triangle a human face. Elected with funding from the West's corporate Lords of Yesterday, Sen. McClure used his skill and tremendous Senatorial power to threaten and intimidate local Forest Service officials to increase logging in the National Forests. McClure, aided by the Forest Service hierarchy, worked Congressional committees with consummate skill to obtain hundreds of millions of tax
dollars for building logging roads. With help from the Northwest's multi-billion dollar timber corporations, McClure rendered the Forest Service's planning process for the National Forests virtually worthless. In 1990 McClure left Congress to become a director of Boise Cascade timber company, and of mining corporations. Elected ostensibly to "protect" Idahoans from "special interests" and from Washington, D.C., McClure walked through Congress's revolving door to become a lobbyist for corporate Lords of Yesterday in the nation's capital city.

An opposing force with far less political power is the "Dissident" Triangle. The Dissident Triangle works to open up the power game, and consists, according to Hedrick Smith, of (1) the media, (2) internal critics of federal agencies, and (3) allies in Congress. This triangle works to keep public decisions open to the public. In the Pentagon, the Dissident Triangle empowers whistle-blowers to more effectively challenge generals and admirals, corporations with military contracts, and members of Congress, all of whom benefit from weapons systems no matter whether these weapons are functional, necessary, or affordable.

As in the Pentagon, a Dissident Triangle also exists in the U.S. Forest Service. During the 1980s an organization coalesced around the efforts of a timber sale planner, Jeff Debonis: the Association of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics. In the struggle for reforming the U.S. Forest Service and American forest policies, this Dissident Triangle is attempting to break the Iron Triangle's lock on National Forest policy.

Today, decisions about the public's forests and fisheries in the Pacific Northwest are dominated by Iron Triangles, effectively closed to the public. The American people are losing the power game here, and with it their forests and fisheries.

Not even 200 years after Lewis and Clark, the Columbia River region of today is battered. Surface and ground waters are contaminated with some of the world's worst nuclear and mining pollution. Rivers are dammed. Forests are trashed. Streams are choked with fish-killing sediment. Human population numbers and demands on habitat are surging upward. Other species are facing extinction: salmon, bull trout, sturgeon, grizzly bear, mountain caribou. Our troubled Columbia River ecosystem is inextricably linked to our troubled American political system.

&endash;&endash; John Osborn

Forest Watch



"Obey the law. Tell the truth." Remember these words from Jack Ward Thomas as he took his place as Chief of the Forest Service? We were elated when this order came down the ranks to all agency personnel, even though we were somewhat fearful the line officers might not get the point.

By Sara Folger

They didn't get it. In fact, they defy it.

NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act, is a procedural law that sets standards for the content of environmental documents and also governs a detailed process of public involvement in decision-making. Even though it is procedural in nature, NEPA is still a law. Government agencies managing public resources are bound to comply with NEPA as they are with any law.

In March 1992 the Forest Service and then-President Bush tried to revoke citizen appeals against illegal timber sales altogether. They were stopped only by a massive public outcry. Subsequent attempts to render appeals meaningless were halted when Congress passed a law keeping appeals in place and new regulations to administer that law. Now, in 1994, certain agency officials have devised yet another scheme to undercut public oversight of flawed decisions: they changed the standards by which appeals are reviewed, without telling the public or the Chief what they had done.

The changes were subtle but we saw them in the language of several appeal denials we received that just didn't make sense. The letters from the Forest Service stated that our claims had merit, but the appeals were denied anyway. We were rather puzzled, to say the least, because we had never seen that kind of decision before.

Up until now the Forest Service's admission that NEPA claims had merit had always resulted in a remand of the project decision for further analysis, and a new decision or withdrawal of the project.

A few days after receiving two of these unusual appeal denials, we also received a package from an anonymous source within the agency. It included, among other things, a smoking gun in the form of a memo outlining a conference call between the Region 1 Forester and his Forest Supervisors. This conference call was made to issue the Regional Forester's direction on standards of review for administrative appeals and designate persons responsible for the reviews.

The outline shows that the Chief's instructions to "...focus on the substantive quality and correctness...of the project decision as opposed to just its procedural or legal adequacy..." were interpreted as a review which considers "management questions" (insert: decision logic, stewardship, response to comments) and states that "procedural errors" (insert: NEPA violations) "...can be resolved by issuing instructions...for correction...of NEPA documents."

This language has major impacts to the way in which appeals are decided. The Appeal Deciding Officer can decide that legal violations are not "fundamental" to the decision, deny the appeal, and instruct the project decision-maker to make changes to the documents and release the project. This would allow changes to be made to the project without subsequent public review, which is a NEPA violation. Violating NEPA is illegal.

NEPA, once an inviolate standard by which the merits of appeals were judged, is now subject to the discretion of Appeal Reviewing and Deciding Officers, who come to the process with all their personal values and professional biases mixed in with their reviews of citizen appeals. This interpretive policy reflects an arrogant disdain for the public participation objectives of NEPA, and its application constitutes lawlessness on the part of public officials.

Since mid-September we have alerted activists across the country to this situation, along with the media, members of Congress, and Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials. We have had no satisfactory response to our concerns over this obvious expression of contempt for the law and the American public. This blatant undertaking to once again circumvent law and logic to "get the cut out" only hardens our skepticism toward promises of reform and deepens our disappointment in a Forest Service mandated to "preserve, protect, and enhance" our public forests.

It is ironic that since we exposed this attempt to skirt the law, we have suddenly begun to win some appeals after a period of seeing every substantive and well-founded appeal denied, with no opportunity for further review. This situation reinforces our determination to protect public oversight of public land management decisions. Without public oversight, the forests will be further ravaged by these renegade public officials.



Kettle Range Conservation Group
Pend Oreille Environmental Team
Tonasket Forest Watch
Methow Forest Watch
Citizens for Responsible Logging


Wallace Forest Watch
Citizens for Environmental Equality
Kootenai Environmental Alliance
Sandpoint Forest Watch
Boundry Backpackers
Clearwater Forest Watch Coalition
Bonners Ferry Forest Watch
Selkirk-Priest Basin Association


Cabinet Resource Group
Montana Wilderness Association


Grand Ronde Resource Council
Blue Mountain Native Forest Alliance


Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Idaho Conservation League
Idaho Wildlife Federation
American Wildlands
Ecology Center


Don't let wild salmon disappear from the Northwest!

1994 was the worst year ever for runs of Columbia and Snake river wild salmon. Only one adult sockeye returned to the Snake River basin. Chinook runs dropped from thousands to only few hundred.

This is a disaster for the fish, and for the people who depend upon them.

Fifteen years ago Congress created the Northwest Power Planning Council and mandated it to protect salmon from devastation by the Columbia and Snake river hydropower system.

Finally, a panel of federal judges has ruled that the Power Planning Council can no longer follow the lead of industries, utilities, and agencies who consistently value power above fish. Instead, the Council is to defer to the knowledge and science of Indian tribes and of fish and wildlife agencies.

The Northwest Power Planning Council is now in the process of revising and amending its Strategy for Salmon.

Before November 10, write a letter to your Governor about the Northwest Power Planning Council's proposed options for amending its plan, Strategy for Salmon.

Some points to include in your letter:

The Pacific Northwest can have BOTH hydropower and fisheries. Salmon extinction is not an option! Obey the law.

Option 1) More barging. Response: Barging the fish around dams has not worked. Stop it. Reject Option 1.

Option 2) More studies. Response: Stop wasting time and act. Option 2 merely studies the fish to death. Reject Option 2.

Options 3, 4, and 5) All of these options would change the Columbia back from a series of slack water reservoirs into some semblance of a flowing river by some combination of increasing flows, spilling water over the dams, and drawing down reservoirs. Response: The Power Planning Council should support Option 3, 4, or 5.

Gov. Mike Lowry
Legislative Building
State Capital
Olympia, WA 98504
Gov. Barbara Roberts
Legislative Building
State Capital
Salem, OR 97310
Gov. Cecil Andrus
State Capital
Boise, ID 83720
Gov. Marc Racicot
State Capital
Helena, MT 59620
Also send a copy of your
letter to the Northwest Power
Planning Council; 851 SW 6th
Ave Suite 1100; Portland, OR

Conservation Updates &endash;&endash;

Current Events in the News Timber appeals brushed aside, group says


U.S. Forest Service allows sale even if procedural errors found

By J. Todd Foster

Staff writer

Agency move foolish, illegal

Steve Solem's claims in "Timber appeals brushed aside, group claims" (Sept. 23) are misleading, at best. He states, "It's amazing they're (environmentalists) feigning surprise with something clearly articulated in the draft regulations that went through substantial public review."

We aren't surprised, but outraged. We're not protesting the new appeals regulations but the fact that Region 1 has created new standards to evaluate appeals. These are two distinct entities. These new standards are being implemented without any public notification or review and without the sanction of the Department of Agriculture or the chief of the Forest Service.

These new standards allow the Forest Service to deny appeals, even when that agency has broken the law. The National Environmental Policy Act mandates that the agency follow procedures that fully examine the effects a timber sale will have on fish, water, wildlife, etc. Without such information the Forest Service cannot make a sound decision.

The Forest Service is saying that even though its has not provided the needed environmental information, it nevertheless can deny an appeal and add the information to the record when the public cannot appeal the department's conclusions.

Two years ago, the Forest Service's effort to gut the appeals process was stopped by massive public outcry. Now, renegade regional foresters are striking out on their own, indicating that many Forest Service members are struggling with the chief's mandate to "Obey the law. Tell the truth." The old guard of the Forest Service will do anything to subvert public process and maintain its "get the cut out" mentality.

Barry Rosenberg, director

Forest Watch Program, Spokane

October 1, 1994. Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane environmental group claims the U.S. Forest Service is twisting new appeals regulations to violate federal law and ram through shaky timber sales.

Agency officials deny the charge but concede that of the 54 appeals decided in the northern Rocky Mountains region this year, the Forest Service rejected all but one.

The regulations were enacted nationwide Jan. 3 to streamline the timber sale process.

Forest Service documents suggest appeals now can be denied even if the timber sales contain "procedural errors," as long as timber planners correct the flaws before the sales are put up for bid.

Such errors in the past forced the agency to withdraw timber sales and rework them.

"The agency has once again found a way to gut the appeals process and neutralize citizen oversight of management decisions," said Barry Rosenberg of the Inland Empire Public Lands Council. "They've given themselves permission to break the law."

Last year, the council's win-loss record for appeals was 9-1 in the northern Rockies regionMontana and the upper half of Idaho. This year, it's 1-4.

Conservationists frequently won appeals in the past based on procedural errors, which include any number of failures such as not considering adverse impacts on wildlife.

Steve Solem, regional appeals and litigation coordinator in Missoula, said timber sales are under greater scrutiny than ever before from the agency because of public pressure.

That, in large part, accounts for the agency's success in planning sales, he said.

Solem said the new regulations clearly allow agency staffers to deny appeals if valid procedural concerns are addressed before sales are put up for bid.

"It's amazing that they're feigning surprise with something clearly articulated in the draft regulations that went through substantial public review," he said.

"I think he (Rosenberg) is being opportunistic to drive home his frustration with the process," Solem said. "They have made a business out of appealing in terms of forcing their issues."

The regulations don't allow the Forest Service to skirt federal environmental laws to speed up timber sales, said Debbie Sivas, the land council's Seattle attorney.

She is considering filing a lawsuit to contest the agency's interpretation.

"We now don't have any legal handle to stop them (on timber sales) unless we sue them," Sivas said.

The lands council already is suing to stop the Upper Sunday Timber Sale in northwestern Montana's Kootenai National Forest.

Its appeal was denied even though the agency agreed that planners failed
to document that wildlife and streams won't be harmed.

"This a fraud," Rosenberg said. The agency is "obviously trying to put timber into the pipeline. This is renegade forestry."

The new guidelines allow appeals only to regional foresters, instead of first going through forest supervisors.

Appeals must be decided within 45 days instead of 90 days under the old rules.

September 23, 1994
Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

Businesses reap big subsidies

A new report on federal giveaways cites cheap mining land, timber, power from federal dams and other Northwest resources

By H. Josef Hebert,The Associated Press

WASHINGTONUnder the outdated goal of developing the West, the federal government is giving away billions of dollars worth of natural resources to subsidize private business, a congressional report says.

The subsidies come in the form of cheap water, under-priced tim
ber and help for private interests ranging from mining companies to ranchers and farmers, the report says.

While these subsidies may at one time have been needed to spur growth in the West, they now are largely unnecessary and syphon badly needed revenue from the federal Treasury, said the study released Sunday by the House Natural Resources Committee.

The report, developed by the panel's Democratic staff, said that while the need for government to promote settlement of the West has long passed, "the practice of paying the private sector to develop public resources continues unabated."

And the study said the subsidies, ranging from selling mining claims for a few dollars to providing cheap electricity from government dams, are so widespread that no one can say what the total cost is to the taxpayer.

"We simply don't know. It runs into the hundreds of millions, sometimes billions of dollars. And on a cumulative basis it's off the charts," Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the committee's chairman, told a group of reporters.

Many of these subsidies have been discussed in Congress for years and the debate has intensified since the Clinton administrations began pushing for higher grazing fees, royalty payments on hardrock minerals and higher prices for timber taken from federal forests.

But Miller said the government giveaway of its natural resources is even broader than that with no clear way to determine in many cases who is reaping the benefits.

While some subsidies should be eliminated altogether, others should be curtailed and still others should be subjected to "means testing" to ensure that wealthy individuals or prosperous corporations are not given taxpayer-funded support.

The report lists dozens of cases where private individuals or corporations are benefiting from government resources, ranging from cheap access to federal land, water or mineral rights to beneficial tax benefits.

Among the examples cited were:

· Mining companies that purchase through a "patenting" process the rights to federal land

and then reap billions of dollars from hardrock minerals such as gold and platinum without paying the government a penny in royalties.

· Cheap electricity from federal power suppliers in the Northwest and in the Missouri River Basin. While in some cases the gap has narrowed, federal power still is much cheaper than other sources, the report said.

It cited the case of the Pick-Sloan Project in the Missouri River Basin where subsidized federal power costs as little 1.2 cents per kilowatt-hour compared to 3 cents
for wholesale electricity from other sources.

· The sale of timber from federal forests at prices that do not cover the costs of administration or the construction of miles of roadwayat taxpayer expenseneeded for harvesting.

Oregonian, August 8, 1994

"We simply don't know. It runs into the hundreds of millions, sometimes billions of dollars."

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.

Forest Health cure could cost billions

Some federal officials say benefits could outweigh costs

By Scott Sonner, Associated Press

Salvage logging, prescribed burning and other operations to reduce heavy wood fuel loads would probably cost an average of about $250 per acre over 14 million acres of national forests in the region, the Congressional Research Service said.

The service, the research arm
of the Library of Congress, also concluded that salvage logging harvesting dead, dying and burned treesnever produces enough money to offset the costs to the federal treasury.

But top officials for the Agriculture and Interior departments said the benefits often outweigh
WASHINGTON Fully addressing forest health and wildfire concerns on just one-tenth of the national forest lands in the West would cost the Forest Service about $3.5 billion, roughly the size of its annual budget, a report said Tuesday.

(continued on next page)
(continued from last page)

the costs in terms of reduced fire threats and improved wildlife habitat.

"If 10 percent of the national forest system lands in the (Western) states14 million acres were treated, total treatment costs would be about $3.5 billion, roughly equal to the annual Forest Service budget," the CRS report said.

"Even if the cost were spread out over a decade, forest health and fuel management might require a 10 percent increase in agency appropriations, at a time when Congress and the president are trying to reduce the federal budget deficit," it said.

The study was unveiled Tuesday during a joint hearing before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committees on Western forest fires and related forest health issues. It was requested by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.

"We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on fire management but only a small fraction of that on action that might prevent fires," Assistant Agriculture Secretary James Lyons told the panels.

"We have come to one of those points like in the famous ... oil filter ad. You can pay me now or
you can pay me later," he said.

Wildfires this year have burned nearly 4 million acres and cost the government nearly $900 million, the committees were told.

Some 40,000 fires burned 1 million acres of state and private lands and more than 1.2 million acres of national forests, at a cost to the government in excess of $700 million, Lyons said.

Assistant Interior Secretary Bob Armstrong said his department spent about $168 million to suppress fires that burned more than 1.2 million acres of lands managed by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and other Interior Department agencies.

"Demand for resources often exceeded the supply,'' Armstrong said Tuesday. "We deal with hurricanes and earthquakes, but we for some reason haven't dealt very well with fire, knowing full well it will occur."

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore said the estimates in the CRS report were "pretty goosey, " noting the estimated costs per acre ranged from less than $100 to more than $1,000.

But Lyons, who oversees the Forest Service as assistant for natural resources and the environment, said he accepted them as "ballpark estimates."

"Overall, we need to look at these as investments that avoid future investments in (fire) suppression and benefits in improved wildlife habitat," Lyons said.

"Make no mistake about it, we are talking about significant investment in forest management that we have neglected for sometime," he said.

The CRS report said salvage sales often cost more than the revenues they generate because of lower timber quality and higher operating costs for buyers.

"Furthermore, the (U.S.) Treasury loses even when the sales are net cash generators,'' the report said.

That is because 100 percent of the receipts are deposited in a fund for preparing and administering future salvage sales while another 25 percent of the receipts is returned to the states.

Therefore, "125 percent of salvage sale receipts are permanently appropriated, with the extra 25 percent being paid from profitable, non-salvage sales," the report said.

Lyons and Armstrong said they agreed with the conclusion that salvage sales are a net money loser to the federal government. But Lyons said, "In this case, the benefits would outweigh the costs."

Lewiston Morning Tribune
October 5, 1994

(Spokesman-Review 9-18-94)

Wildfires fuel timber ad campaign

But conservationists say industry exploits tragedy

By J. Todd Foster, Staff writer

Wildfires raging across the West might be a public relations panacea for the troubled timber industry.

The fires have placed the concept of salvage logging at the front of the public psyche, and industry spin doctors have wasted no time bankrolling it into a regional media blitz.

Members of the Coeur d'Alene- based Intermountain Forest Industry Association are bombarding airwaves and newsprint across the Inland West with what many scientists consider a moderate message:

Careful forest management thinning fir trees and using pre
scribed burns to rid the ground of dangerous fuels can take the punch out of many wildfires.

And if that fails, salvaging the burned timber can at least recoup firefighting costs.

"The public will not tolerate the notion that we should leave dead timber in the woods," said Ken Kohli, spokesman for the Coeur d'Alene timber association.

His group has purchased thousands of dollars worth of huge ads
in 12 daily and four weekly newspapers and half-minute spots on 31 regional radio stations.

In a political climate where the public's views on logging shift with the wind, the timber industry is now tacking at full sail, Kohli said.

But a Spokane-based conservation group calls it exploiting tragedy and twisting the facts to feed sawmills.

Many environmentalists regard fervent calls for salvage logging as a ruse to get at timber not easily available because of increasingly stringent environmental laws.

A Spokane forestry conference Sept. 8 and 9 will promote the premise, however, that undermanaged forests have turned the Inland Northwest into a tinderbox.

The conference is organized by Boise Cascade Corp. and American Forests, a moderate conservation group founded in 1875 as the American Forestry Association.

"We don't think we have any problem with the science," said R. Neil Sampson, executive vice president of American Forests in Washington, D.C.

"I see 20 million acres of Inland Northwest forests in deep trouble," he said, quoting a three-year study by a cross-section of scientists.

A century of fire suppression coupled with no timber harvesting have turned thin ponderosa pine stands into thickets choked by fireprone firs, he said.

Sampson's group and the timber industry are using recent fires to bolster their case.

Monday on Coeur d'Alene's Nettleton Gulch, a fire caused by a cigarette or match torched two acres on Canfield Mountain. But because the area had been thinned, the blaze never jumped into tree crowns and was quickly confined and doused, said Craig Ely, acting fire management officer for the
Fernan Ranger District.

Conservationists note the agency now advocating careful thinning and salvage operations is the same U.S. Forest Service that just a few years ago was signing off on clearcuts.

"We have to remember that salvage is done for money," said Sara Folger, coordinator of the public lands council's Forest Watch program. "It's not done as a restorative activity.

"The rhetoric out there flying around and the hype being perpetrated on the public is we have to salvage everything to save the forests," she said.

For Sampson of American Forests, healing Western forests is worth a few hits from what he considers extremists in the conservation community. After all, he said, bad news is better than no news.

"It's never fun to be pilloried, but quite frankly it's no fun to be ignored," he said.

August 31, 1994
Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

The Inland Empire Public Lands Council is incensed at being portrayed as "radicals" whose objections to logging have caused this summer's catastrophic wildfires.

The council will trot out its own scientists and consultants in a news briefing today to debunk what it calls a campaign of misinformation and deception.

"Big Timber wants you to think the forests need to be 'saved' from fires with a chain-saw massacre. They are using their enormous financial resourcesand you, if they canto sell the big lie," the council said in a statement to the media Tuesday.

Kohli is laughing all the way to the polls. A recent survey of 405 Idahoans showed more than 80 percent support salvage logging, especially after wildfires, and believe it can reduce wildfire risks.

"The issue is a huge loser for them (environmentalists). The longer it stays in the limelight, the more political capital they squander," Kohli said.

"If these ads are getting underneath the skin of people who believe a chain saw doesn't have any place in the forest, then so be it. These are the same people who tell us we ought not to weed our own family garden," he said.

Although both sides of the debate generally agree that some tree thinning and prescribed burns can help diseased forests, the dispute is over motives and how much.

Industry ad about wildfire angers group

By Linda Ashton

immediately allowed to harvest dead and dying timber on our national forests.

"The irresponsible actions of a few radicals have blocked even the most modest efforts to return to a safe and healthy condition through thinning and selective logging."

Accompanying photographs show a healthy-looking timber sale on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest and a scorched-earth shot labeled "forest fire aftermath" on the Boise National Forest.

The headline says: "One of these Idaho forests was selectively logged in 1994 ... One of them wasn't."

Industry is trying to capitalize on wildfire fears to boost their access to timber, said Mathew Andersen, a Spokane lawyer and spokesman for the 800-member Public Lands Council.

The campaign is "intellectually dishonest," based on the premise that if the trees aren't cut, nature will burn them, he said.

But some of these fires, in areas where fuels have built up for decades, are not eco-friendly, Kohli said. The blazes can burn elk alive and boil fish right out of the water, he said.

"Fires like this are not inevitable," he said.

Removing dead timber from the woods can help prevent giant, destructive burns in the future, he said.

"The industry is committed to doing the right thing, acre by acre," Kohli said.

Missoulian, September 1, 1994


Associated Press

SPOKANE The timber industry has tapped into public concern

'This is a ruse to log
timber to make profits.'
&endash;&endash; Barry Rosenberg
Inland Empire Public
Lands Council

'Their goal is to beat the forest products industry at all costs.'

&endash;&endash; Ken Kohli

Intermountain Forest Industry Association
about wildfire with a misleading ad campaign designed to promote more logging, an environmental group charged Wednesday.

At a news conference, spokesman Barry Rosenberg of the Inland Empire Public Lands Council said the industry campaign "shamelessly exploits the fire situation."

"This is a ruse to log timber to make profits," he said.

Nonsense, countered an industry representative, who accused the Public Lands Council of misrepresenting the facts.

"This has become an intense debate that's a lot about politics and very little about the environment," Ken Kohli, a spokesman for the Intermountain Forest Industry Association, said in an interview after the press conference.

"Their goal is to beat the forest products industry at all costs."

Industry is trying to capitalize on wildfire fears to boost their access to timber, Andersen said.

The campaign is ''intellectually dishonest" based on the premise that if the trees aren't cut, nature will burn them, he said.

Wildfire in Washington alone has burned nearly 250,000 acres and destroyed more than three dozen homes and cabins this summer.

The Montana Wilderness Association also issued a statement in Kalispell assailing the industry's ad campaign for spreading disinformation and saying the industry position that logging is the only alternative to devastating wildfire is ridiculous.

Logging has never stopped wildfires in western Montana and won't, said Stormy Good, Flathead chapter president of MWA. "In fact, clearcuts and highgrade logging...often increase fire danger," Good said.

MWA member Bob Zimmerman of Libby said the entire industry campaign appears "to be to allow the timber companies access into public roadless land while they continue unsustainable logging on industrial land."

An industry newspaper ad begins this way: "The brave efforts of thousands of firefighters across the nation will eventually control this year's catastrophic forest fires. Sadly, this year's tragic losses may be but a preview unless public-land managers are

Salvage sale angers environmentalists

By J. Todd Foster

Staff Writer

REPUBLIC, Wash. A U.S. Forest Service proposal to log wildfire-ravaged trees in a roadless area is outraging
tional Forest is roadless and shouldn't be logged, he said.

"They're going full bore that we don't want to see anyone in the national forests unless they're going for a hike," Coleman said.

The Forest Service expects to complete an environmental study of the salvage sale by January and then incorporate public concerns by March.

The timber would not be sold until May at the earliest.

"If you put up part of a sale to satisfy these folks (Coleman's group), there's not going to be any volume left to harvest," said Boise Cascade's Jim Levers.

But Sara Folger of the Spokane based Inland Empire Public Lands Council said forest managers are ignoring every forest component except trees.

Wildlife, fisheries and soils have not been considered, she said.

"This is a timber auction," Folger said. "It's 'we want the trees and don't give a damn about anything else.'"

October 1, 1994
Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

environmentalists, but loggers are eyeing a windfall.

The Copper Butte fire burned an estimated10,670 acres following a late July lightning strike.

Although the fire is still smoldering, federal foresters already plan to salvage roughly 5 million board feet while the wood is still marketable.

The timber sale would yield enough wood for approximately 500 new homes and could fetch more than $1 million.

Removing trees, even dead ones, will disturb fragile soils and deprive them of nutrient-rich materials that result from decaying trees, conservationists said.

"It's like mugging a burn victim," said Tim Coleman, president of the Kettle Range Conservation Group here.

On recent tours of the Lambert Creek area where much of the timber is slated to be harvested, scores of loggers and timber executives shared the woods with a handful of conservationists.

It wasn't pretty.

"To hell with the environmentalists," shouted Don Greene, a retired truck driver who said he's tired of seeing extremists run the Forest Service.

"There's going to be wood here long
after we're dead and gone," Greene said.

Republic District Ranger Pat Egan said the agency has only a one- to two-year window to sell the timber before it rots or gets infested with insects.

Although some of the salvage sale is in the Profanity Roadless Area, no new roads will be built, she said.

Roughly 750 acres would be logged by helicopter where there are no roads, and by cables and skidders where there are, Egan said.

"We don't have any parameters to exempt salvage sales from environmental regulations," she told three environmentalists and about 20 pro-logging citizens who wanted the sale rushed through.

Coleman and Mike Petersen of the Kettle Range group tried to soothe philosophical wounds by walking with loggers and dispelling what they call myths about perceived tree huggers.

"Industry is telling all the people that environmentalists don't want any logging on national forests," said Coleman, 40. "We haven't said that at all."

Only 17 percent of the Colville Na

Tyee fire couldn't have been controlled

Conditions were just too ripe for disaster, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded.

"The Tyee fire's origin and progress had little or no relationship to land ownership or whether the land was managed for timber production or reserved for other
values, such as spotted owl habitat," the agency said after a recent survey of the burned area.

The fire scorched 135,000 acres in late July and August from north of Entiat to Lake Chelan. At least three reproducing pairs of threatened spotted owls lost their habitat.

By J. Todd Foster

Staff writer

Forest managers could not have reduced the severity of the Tyee Creek wildfire in Chelan County through timber management or controlled burns, a federal agency says.

(continued on next page)

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

(The Oregonian, 7-31-94)

U.S. Forest Service managers say that thinning dense timberlands and using controlled burns to rid the ground of flammable debris can reduce fire intensity.

But the summer of 1994 was not the time to test the theory, said silviculturist Don Rose of the Okanogan National Forest.

Moisture in trees and needles was at its lowest point since the agency began record keeping in 1930, he said.

"This was such an extreme year that no matter what we could have done, it wouldn't have made a difference," Rose said.

The Bannon Mountain fire, started by a young brother and sister, burned 1,500 federal acres in the Okanogan, even in areas logged and not considered to contain heavy ground fuels, he said.

The Tyee Creek blaze ignited
in a logged area before spreading to heavy logging slash and reaching nearly 2,000 acres in one day.

Twenty-four hours later, dangerous weather conditionslow humidity and high winds and temperaturescaused the fire to blow up and consume 20,000 acres, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

"During this period of explosive progress, the fire burned equally quickly through 500-year virgin stands of timber and extensive stands of 20-year-old managed, thinned timber that has been under-burned every five years," the agency concluded.

". . . The rates of spread were tied closely to normal daily cycles of heating and cooling, with little or no regard for forest age, type, slope or aspect," biologist Jodi Bush found.

David Browitt, a Boise Cascade forester in Ellensburg, said the Tyee Creek fire is not a good example of the benefits of forest management. The fire was so intense, it outran itself with the wind and ignited areas a mile or more away.

The fire spared the home of one 5-acre landowner, however, when it passed over his logged land, Browitt said.

Mike Petersen of the Kettle Range Conservation Group in Republic, Wash., said fire behavior is as unpredictable as nature's other forces.

"Anything you do to manage a stand is going to be trivial," he said. "All that thinning doesn't seem to have made a difference."

October 1, 1994
Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS

(The Spokesman-Review, 8-28-94)
Surrounded by the refuse of logging, a stand of live trees succumbs to fire. Below, a firefighter contends with smoldering forest floor fuel near Spokane.

Fire-related policies must be reformed

By John Osborn

Special to Roundtable

During recent days, I and other conservationists have been publicly accused of causing the forest fires burning in the Columbia River region. This is, of course, absurd. One can expect large wildfires during the driest summer on record on top of eight years of drought and nearly a century of misguided fire polices.

In the 1970s, I fought forest fires in the West, working on "hot shot" fire crews based in the Sawtooth, Payette, and Boise national forests in Idaho. During the tragic summer of 1979, our fire crew's DC-3 crashed in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, killing the pilot and most passengers. Later that summer at the Ship Island Fire in central Idaho, a member of a fire crew working down the ridge from us burned to death when the fire blew up in the steep canyon below.

From my years of fighting forest fires, my historical research of American fire history at Albertson College in Idaho, and then witnessing the recent wildfires in Spokane, I've come to know that a shift in fire policy is overdue.

Fire is a renewing, creative, biological force in our forests. Historically, ignitions came from lightning, from woods-burning by Native Americans, and later by European settlers.

As the timber frontier moved across the continent, native forests went up in flames. Logging, the clearing of forests for farming, and later, railroads, led to firestorms such as Miramichi (Maine and New Brunswick,1825); Peshtigo and Humboldt (Wisconsin, 1871); Hinkley (Minnesota,1894); and Cloquet (Minnesota,1918). Here in the Columbia River region, the Big Blow-up of 1910 killed 85 people and burned nearly 3 million acres. Firestorms such as these led to national policies of total fire exclusion.

Oregon's Tillamook Burn of 1933 and Idaho's Selway fires of 1934 further spurred the Forest Service in 1935 to formally adopt its policy emphasizing rapid suppression of all fires. This policy was called the "10 a.m. Policy" because each fire was to be controlled by 10 a.m. the day after being reported. The 10 a.m. Policy remained in place until 1978.

Paradoxically, suppressing fires made fires worse. Big wildfires, combined with science and economics, have forced reform of America's fire policies.

Reform came first in the South. During the 1920s, Forest Service scientists showed that fire was necessary for forest health in commercial pine forests. Research was energetically suppressed by top Forest Service officials at a time when much of this federal agency's budget depended on fighting fires. Drought in 1943, combined with fuel-loading from decades of fire suppression, led to big wild fires in the South.

That year the Forest Service approved prescribed burning in the South's pine forests.

In the West, reform has come more slowly. In California, interest in light burning flourished until the Forest Service's advocacy for total suppression prevailed in 1920. During the 1960s, scientific research on fire's role in regenerating the giant sequoias led the Park Service to restore fire in the Sequoia-King Canyon National Park. The Park Service later took similar action in other forests, including Yellowstone. During the 1970s, the Forest Service began a "natural fire management policy" that allowed some lightning caused fires to burn in some areas under some conditions.

But real reform has not yet come. Today in the West, fire policies are still largely driven by decisions made in l935 and, in turn, by the Big Blowup of 19l0. In the face of mounting scientific evidence, accumulating fuels, drought, and now another summer of big wildfires, the West needs to re-examine fire policies.

Options for restoring damaged forest ecosystems include fire and very careful, scientifically-based thinning. Because of the tremendous ecological damage from past logging and road-building, Forest Service managers should not log in biologically sensitive areas, including riparian zones and roadless areas. Priority should go to reducing risks around homes and communities.

Furthermore, thinning in a reckless and untested manner across the Columbia River's forested watersheds risks even more ecological damage with little reduction in fire danger.

Thinning is being manipulated by the region's powerful timber lobby as a ruse to further overcut forests, to make up for shortages created by corporate overcutting and log exports to Japan.

Responding to industry pressure two years ago during the last election, then-President George Bush tried to accelerate logging through "salvage" in the national forests. This election year, the region's timber lobby is aggressively pushing thinning and salvage logging, with saturation advertising and carefully staged "conferences" and hearings during the height of the fire season.

Today, the West faces increased risks of big wildfires because of past fire suppression and resultant fuel loading, because of decades of poorly designed and executed logging prescriptions and because of drought.

While there is absolutely no room for indiscriminate burning, and while we must work to resolve problems with smoke and reduce the risk of conflagration, we also need to recognize the essential role of fire in restoring fire-dependent forests to health.

John Osborn is a Spokane physician and conservationist.
Spokesman-Review, August 28, 1994 Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

Browning forests no reason for human intervention


more defensible. When one is trying to maximize a tract's timber production in as short a time as possible, natural disruptions can indeed be detrimental to that objective.

The trouble is that the Forest Service has adopted the loggers' perspective in its management of national forests, even though the law requires that such lands not be treated as plantations.

Roy Keene, a forestry consultant in Eugene, summed up the situation aptly:

"Our forest managers may consent to the science that fire, insects, disease and wind are all vital components of a healthy forest ecosystem, but they still react as though natural disturbances are the enemy. The bureaucratic overreaction is enforced by budgets, tree-farm mentalities and the politically influential timber industry."

Filled with silviculturists who graduated from schools of agriculture that stress timber yields as the primary management objective, the Forest Service doesn't take natural recovery into account in its environmental-impact statements to justify its caretaker plans. Only tree deterioration and loss are recognized in line with the Forest Service's timber-production predilection.

Managing national forests essentially like tree farms has the unhappy consequence of diminishing biodiversity through clear-cutting and widespread use of toxic chemicals.

Partridge argues that in most national-forest tracts earmarked for some timber cutting, natural recovery from blight and infestations occurs on average over a 15- to 20-year period and ultimately produces as good or better crops for harvesting than plantations do.

And since these trees are growing on lands that the private lumber companies are only supposed to farm selectively anyway, several decades are a perfectly reasonable incubation period.

Disease thus has no business being used as a rationale to raze any publicly owned timberlands, much less level what little remains of our biologically unique old-growth forests.

Rather than an aberration, natural disturbances are as much a part of the ancient-forest ecosystem as the fresh green saplings that follow in their wake.


May 12, 1993 Oregonian Copyright 1993,

Edward Flattau. Reprinted with permission.


The statement that "an unhealthy forest is not sick" may sound like the mother of all incongruities.

But for forestry experts with an academic orientation in biology or ecology, the phrase makes eminently good sense.

They view the diseases and insect infestations that periodically beset woodlands as not only a natural but necessary part of the cycle that produces healthy, biologically diverse forests.

One of the disciples of this school of thought, Professor Arthur Partridge of the University of Idaho, notes that many trees in the interior of the Pacific Northwest are turning brown from major outbreaks of root disease, mountain pine beetles and spruce budworms.

However, contrary to the way the timber production-minded U.S. Forest Service perceives the situation, Partridge does not find this "brownout" cause for alarm. He considers the affliction to be nature's instrument for weeding out the weaker species and replacing them with genetically superior, more disease-resistant kinds of trees - a classic exercise of natural selection.

For example, mountain pine beetles in Oregon and Idaho have killed off sufficient seral lodgepole pine to make room for several relatively stable species of firs to flourish.

Tussock moth epidemics in Eastern Oregon's Blue Mountains 15 years ago finished off disease-ridden Douglas fir, thereby thinning out the forest and stimulating new growth that has covered the slopes with more high-quality timber, Partridge says.

"Diseases and insects are the engines that drive forest succession," declared Partridge. "Forests are resilient and tend to heal themselves if allowed to do so."

You would never know this to hear the timber industry and its sympathizers within and outside the Forest Service tell it. They characterize blight and insect infestation on public lands as disasters of the first magnitude and push strenuously for salvaging the dead trees and spraying the surviving ones.

If diseases and insects were raising havoc on privately owned commercial tree plantations, industry's hue and cry for immediate human intervention would be much

Restoring forest health

We must arrive at a carefully drawn balance of humans' wants and nature's needs

By James R. Karr and Ellen W. Chu

Special to Roundtable

Nineteen ninety-four was one of the worst years on record for wildfires in eastern Oregon and Washington, sparking an outcry for immediate action to improve what many people term "forest health."

The primary threats to forest healthdrought, insects, diseases and fireare a direct result of human actions, especially logging practices and, ironically, fire prevention during the past 100 years. Some people suggest that salvage (removing dead, fallen woody material) and thinning (cutting small live trees) are essential to keep forests healthy. Others deny that forests are unhealthy. As usual, truth lies in the middle ground, a fact often lost in the fight to defend extremes.

Scientists disagree about which areas are at risk, how and why they are at risk and the prescription for reducing risk. Without doubt, some dense stands require management to protect them and their surroundings from catastrophic fire, pests and disease. Salvage and thinning are two legitimate techniques but not the only onesfor lowering such risks to "forest health."

But salvage and thinning may at the same time increase risks to forest resources other than timber resources such as water, fisheries and wildlife.

Many advocates of salvage and thinning do not recognize that more than the health of trees is at stake. Their approach is reminiscent of the one-size-fits-all management that created the forest health crisis in the first place, along with declining fish populations, degraded water supplies and threatened wildlife populations. Given past abuses, in which large healthy trees were cut in the guise of salvage, cynics could say that today's cries to protect "forest health" to lessen the risk of wildfire are, in many cases, another excuse for getting the cut out.

At issue is how society should use fallen logs, dead and dying trees and many living trees. Do we use them over the short term to enrich economic systems? Or do we leave them in place to sustain ecological and economic systems over the long term? How do we balance short- and long-term benefits?

(continued on next page)

(Cathy Bertagnolli photo)
Dr. Arthur Partridge (forest pathologist) and Dr. Dominick DellaSala (of the World Wildlife Fund) examining forest fungi in the Clearwater River watershed of north Idaho.
(continued from last page)

Historically, trees were harvested to enrich economic systems. Failure to convert treesdead or aliveto wood products was considered a waste of resources.

Ecological research has now demonstrated that harvesting to benefit economic systems often degrades ecological systems, depriving those systems of a supply of snags, and dead, dying and decomposing wood, all of which play a role in a truly healthy forest landscape. Even shrinking salmon runs are tied to lack of wood in and near streams.

Two years ago, a bipartisan group of U.S. House members asked a number of scientific societies to review the condition of national forests east of the Cascade Crest in Oregon and Washington. The panel formed by those societies found that eastside forests are smaller and more fragmented than before, fish populations are severely depleted and watersheds are extensively degraded. All these facts point to declining health, not of trees but of entire landscapes. In its just-published report, the panel sets out a series of recommendations aimed at protecting what remains of the ecological building blocks for restoring these landscapes.

The panel concluded that one-size-fits-all management makes no sense for landscapes with histories and resources as diverse as those of the east side. Management must protect eastside forest landscapes from all forms of degradation, not just narrowly conceived "forest health."

A broader approach does not require "extensive additional study," the mantra often used by scientists and policy makers to stall definitive action.

The salesmanship of some proponents notwithstanding, silvicultural techniques such as salvage and thinning are not adequate. Because silvicultural techniques do not protect many valuable resources, they must be integrated with techniques designed to accomplish broader natural resource goals. Those goals and the plans for achieving them must be developed by multidisciplinary teams comprising not only silviculturists but also wildlife biologists, fisheries biologists, ecologists, botanists, soil scientists,
hydrologists, entomologists and pathologists. Narrow silvicultural prescriptions are likely to produce a next generation of "landscape health" problems while doing little to resolve current crises.

Likewise, management must avoid extremes. We cannot afford widespread forest manipulation under the guise of protecting forest health, or management by benign neglect that permits growing threats to healthy forest ecosystems. Neither extreme can remedy the past record of mismanagement of regional forest landscapes.

The ecological integrity of regional landscapes has been seriously disrupted in recent decades. Because humans are largely responsible for those disruptions, humans must devise a plan to reverse the trend.

Success in this effort requires more than protecting "forest health" (read "tree health"). A stampede to protect tree health may obscure the need for careful, integrative evaluations. A case in point: management for tree health that ignores logging's contribution to declining wild salmon populations is inadequate.

A good place to start would be careful examination of the landscapes burning this July and August. How much of the area consumed by those fires would have been spared had it been salvaged or thinned under programs designed to protect tree health?

Narrow prescriptions applied as Band-Aids to landscapes are unlikely to resolve crises today or prevent crises tomorrow. And failure to find broadly conceived solutions will jeopardize the supplies of commodities and services provided by healthy forest landscapes.


James R. Karr is director and Ellen W. Chu is editor at the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Washington. Both contributed to the writing and editing of the Eastside Forests Scientific Society Panel's report.

September 22, 1994. Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review
At issue is how society should use fallen logs, dead and dying trees and many living trees. Do we use them over the short term to enrich economic systems? Or do we leave them in place to sustain ecological and economic systems over the long term?

Trashed forests may find salvation in the greening of religion

By Rich Landers,Outdoors editor

America's interest in Western forests has been abused for more than a century by industries, politicians, bureaucrats and courts.

The current timber industry rage involves multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns and staging pseudo-scientific conferences. The goal is to enlist new public support for trashing mountain ecosystems.

This is no way to run a forest.

Those who understand the basic needs of bull trout, cutthroats or salmon know that too many of our watersheds already are a shambles.

The timber industry's claims to environmental consciousness cannot be trusted.

For example, barely a year has passed since Northwest conservation groups appealed a textbook example of 1930ish environmental insensitivity proposed by Plum Creek Timber Company. The Fortune-Bathtub sale called for more than 50 crossings of tributaries to the St. Joe River, one of the few remaining native cutthroat streams for which there is hope.

Since we can't rely on industry or government to protect our forests, perhaps it's time to try something else.

"I look at conservation in terms of the medical model, a scientific approach based on symptoms and data," said John Osborn, a physician and Spokane's leading conservationist.

"But when somebody's near death, I want a chaplain in the room."

Enter The Rev. Carla Berkedal, founder of Earth Ministry, a 3-year-old non-profit arm of Seattle's Episcopal Diocese.

She's a hiker, a camper, the daughter of a scientist and a mother.

She said she became an environmentalist because survival depends on clean air plus pure food and water.

But a more profound mission was inspired in 1988, after Berkedal volunteered to help rescue birds fouled by an oil spill near Ocean Shores.

"I invited people from the congregation to come with me," she said. "For three days we cleaned birds. I worked in the morgue and also released clean birds back to the water. It was a very powerful experience. I'm not surprised. My moments of deepest insight have been in the natural world."

Handling dying sea birds helped her mesh the Master of Divinity training from Yale Divinity School with the powerful natural connections she had made.

Now she works and prays in a non-denominational effort she calls the "greening of faith."

"We must encounter environmental issues from a deeper place," she said. "I encourage congregations to deal with issues in their backyards. But there also must be an awareness of international issues."

"We need to think less of controlling nature and more of being a part
of it."
Rev. Carla Berkedal,
Founder of Earth Ministry

(continued on next page)

September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS
Followers of Earth Ministry believe the gap between religion and science must be bridged for the sake of the environment.

Whether we subscribe to the Big Bang theory or the plight of Adam and Eve, our sense of spirit may be the only way conservation will reach its epiphany.

For centuries, churches have concentrated on giving food and clothing to the impoverished. Perhaps the greater calling is to give them trees and clean water.

"Biblically, we're directed to master the earth," said Carol Bommarito, a deacon at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Spokane. "The Old Testament tells us to multiply and take possession of the beasts, the oceans and the land.

"That seems to have taken Christianity off on a tangent. It's been taught with so much emphasis, we've come to think the earth is at our disposal.

"We need to think less of controlling nature and more of being a part of it."

Said Berkedal. "Humans now have the capacity to intervene with all life systems of the planet in a way we never had before."

Berkedal will be the keynote speaker this weekend for Creation's Bounty, an open gathering of scientists and congregations.

She doesn't profess to have all the answers.

"Earth Ministry was founded around the question of whether the church has a role," she said.

Eventually, however, she believes churches must go beyond the questions and become environmentally active.

"We encourage action in just about every other social issue," she said. "So why is the church so silent in prayer and witness and education about the single most encompassing moral and social issue of the day?

"Care for God's creation should be institutionalized in the church so it isn't just a once-a-year hit on Earth Day."

September 20, 1994
Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

For more information contact:
Earth Ministry
Rev. Carla Berkedal
Rev. Jim Mulligan
(206) 632-2426
1305 NE 47th Street
Seattle, WA 98105


Big Business, Congress,

and the Public's Lands

Chapter 1

Politics of Forest Devastation

(11-28-93. Copyright 1993, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review)

Chairmen of the Board

Congress controls Forest Service budget

and sets timber goals


By J. Todd Foster and Jim Lynch, Staff writers

Tom Kovalicky could navigate Idaho's Nez Perce National Forest through an environmental obstacle course, but he couldn't steer around one U.S. senator.

He kept slamming into Idaho Republican James McClure, a renowned timber industry champion who scolded Kovalicky for not harvesting enough public trees.

Charged with stewarding the nation's forests, the U.S. Forest Service is often a puppet for politicians who yank its purse strings from up to 2,500 miles away.

Lawmakers from both parties can take some credit for the jobs and lumber created by 50 years of heavy logging in the Inland Northwest's federal forests. They also share the legacy of environmental wreckage.

Streams are battered from floods and sediment. A once immense wilderness sheltering Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Western Montana has been hacked into a mosaic of clearcuts.

The Forest Service sanctioned the heavy harvest, but Congress demanded it.

Politicians earmark tax dollars for the Forest Service based more on timber production than on protecting the land.

That's especially true among lawmakers in the Inland Northwest, where environmental advocates are seldom elected and rural county budgets survive on federal timber receipts.

Catering to constituents and courting industry's
campaign cash, lawmakers pressure the Forest Service to maximize timber harvests.

They see it as their duty and consider themselves board members of U.S. Forest Service Inc.

James McClure was chairman of the board.

"It got pretty tense for three or four years around here because I wouldn't budge for McClure or his henchmen," recalled Kovalicky, former Nez Perce supervisor.

A McClure aide, accompanied by industry lobbyists, routinely stormed Kovalicky's Grangeville office to demand more timber sales.

"It was like union goons coming in to beat you up."

McClure summoned Kovalicky to Washington, D.C., in 1990, chided him for not selling enough timber, then tried unsuccessfully to have him fired. Kovalicky decided to get out a year later and retired.

Chairman of the powerful appropriations committee in the early 1980s, McClure bullied other forest managers, his victims say.

McClure warned themusually through their bossesthat he could slash their budgets if they didn't get the cut out. Pushed further, two forest managers said, he indirectly threatened ranks, salaries and pensions.

"If the problem is not remedied by this spring, I intend to make some dramatic changes in the way the Nez Perce Forest operates," McClure wrote in 1988 to Forest Service Chief Dale Robertson.

Before quitting the Senate in 1991, McClure created annual cash bonuses for forests that met timber targets. The incentive was scrapped a year

(continued on next page)

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

Board Meeting: Idaho Sen. James McClure (left), Interior Secretary James Watt and Rep. Larry Craig, discussd the new Reagan administration's land-management plans at a 1981 Republican Western States Conference in Coeur d'Alene. Craig, now a U.S. senator, considers himself a Forest Service "board member."

later, but McClure's allegiance to industry earned him a seat on the Boise Cascade Corp. board of directors.

McClure, now a Capitol Hill mining lobbyist, laughed at the suggestion he meddled too much in Forest Service affairs.

"After all, Congress establishes policy," he said. "That's their job."

McClure still insists Idaho's national forests can offer far more timber than ever without destroying the land or running out of trees.

But he conceded Congress short-changed the agency's scientific arm in favor of its timber program.

"If you look at it like a business," he said, "you spend money to make money."

Nobody controlled the Forest Service budget better than the legendary McClure, who served in

'It got pretty tense for three or four years around here because I wouldn't budge for McClure or his henchmen.'
Tom Kovalicky,
Former Nez Perce National
Forest supervisor
(continued on next page)

September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS

(continued from last page)

the president.

"I think it is appropriate for me as a member of Congress to say to an agency, 'Are you complying with the law?' "

Many Forest Service officials were deferential to McClure and accepted his broad interpretation of the targets. Some still do.

Ed Schultz, supervisor of the Colville National Forest, said the targets have always been ceilings, the maximum that could be sold.

Told that McClure saw them as the law, Schultz smiled. "I'm not going to argue with the senator."

Mumma quit in 1991 rather than accept a forced transfer from Missoula to Washington, D.C.

He later told Congress that Inland Northwest lawmakers, particularly Craig, Burns and former Montana Congressman Ron Marlenee, tried to pressure him into harvesting too much timber. It would have required discarding environmental laws that protect streams and wildlife, he said.

The three lawmakers have all denied interfering with Mumma.

"I loved the agency and still do," Mumma said. "But I wasn't going to break environmental laws just to get some senator re-elected."

Tug of war

Environmentalists have their own political champions. They just don't happen to represent the Inland Northwest.

U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Interior Committee, is a nemesis to loggers, miners and others who profit from public lands.

Environmentalists have assembled an army of Capitol Hill lobbyists that rivals industry's.

Wealthy foundations bolstered recent save-the-forests crusades in the Northwest. Once low-budget citizen groups are now formidable environmental mouthpieces.

Four years ago, the Inland Empire Public Lands Council of Spokane survived on $60,000 a year. Now the region's loudest Forest Service critic works with five times that much cash.

Most environmental groups also benefit from
the Senate for 18 years.

"There have been a handful of people on the Hill who had an inordinate amount on the influence on the Forest Service," said a top agency administrator in Washington, D.C.

"McClure was the ace, the absolute ace."

Political Pawn

While McClure tried to get Kovalicky fired, he was also taking aim at his boss, Northern Rockies regional forester John Mumma.

Mumma knew he was laying his head in a guillotine when his bosses called him to Capitol Hill at McClure's request in 1990.

He and four other agency executives, including Chief Robertson, filed into the Senate Hart Building, office 309.

Waiting inside McClure's two-story quarters were McClure and Idaho colleagues Sen. Steve Symms and Congressman Larry Craig, Montana Sen. Conrad Burns and several aides.

McClure attacked.

"What's the hold up?" he said. "We gave you more money this year than last year and you're producing less timber."

Mumma defended the heads of his 13 forests and said environmental laws made it impossible to hit the timber sale targets Congress expected when it set the agency's budget.

"We were under fire from the moment we got there," Mumma said, calling the "Republican gang bang" the worst meeting of his life.

"He lectured everybody in there like you wouldn't believe. He first intimidated, then put the guilt trip on. It was like watching the old dog teaching the new dogs how to chew out bureaucrats, how to kick them in the groin and make them cower down to you when you make these demands."

McClure said he was simply holding Mumma accountable to timber sale targets approved by Congress.

The Idaho senator saw the targets as the law, not as ceilings, because they were written into appropriations bills passed by Congress and signed by

(continued on next page)

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

Bare Fields: High timber harvest targets have hit the Colville National Forest hard. This clearcut is along the north fork of Calispel Creek, east of Usk.

tax-exempt status. Contributions are deductible. Non-profit industry groups don't enjoy that break because they represent profitable companies.

Despite their emerging power, environmentalists can't keep pace with corporate campaign donations.

Timber executives pumped $250,000 into the campaigns of Washington, Montana and Idaho senators during the years 1987-9.

Many believe the industry got its money's worth.

Last year, California's Miller tried to rope off ancient forests from the chainsaws. He failed, as did three Eastern liberals who tried to set aside 9 million acres of Idaho roadless land as wilderness.

Timber companies later helped topple the 1992 re-election bids of Jim Jontz of Indiana, Pete Kostmayer of Pennsylvania and Gerry Sikorski of Minnesota by financing their opponents.

Earlier this year, Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Kennedy sponsored another sweeping wilderness bill. Western politicians threatened to block funding for the Boston Harbor cleanup. Kennedy backed down.


Frontier politics

Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus said political manipulation of the Forest Service is "too pervasive and too
potent. The problems that we have had stem from the White House right on down."

Andrus, a former logger and President Jimmy Carter's interior secretary, also blames foresters for developing an insensitive clearcutting campaign in the 1950s and sticking with it.

"The result has just devastated the area for the past 30 to 40 years," he said.

But for most Inland Northwest lawmakers, environmental concerns are recurring threats to the pork-barrel investment of an ambitious timber program. The more trees sold, the more jobs, the more votes.

Every county that hosts a federal timber sale gets 25 percent of the receipts.

For Idaho's Shoshone County, that means $2.7 million this year, or one-fourth of its budget. Counties in North Idaho and northeastern Washington earn about $11 million each year.

Timber receipts pay for half the road budget in Clearwater County, Idaho.

"They're just invaluable to us," said County Commission Chairman Jim Wilson.

The future of federal tree sales is often the first topic many county commissioners discuss when their federal politicians roll into town.

Steve Symms, an Idaho senator from 1980-92,

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September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS

(continued from last page)

was always a receptive audience to county officials. He often tossed out quips about endangered species and environmentalists.

Symms last year: "There's no shortage of salmon. There's a surplus of salmon. It's cheaper in the grocery stores than it has been for a long time."

When the Bruneau Hot Springs snail was proposed as an endangered species in the mid-1980s, Symms suggested pouring Clorox into the springs to kill them.

After a grizzly bear went on a sheep-killing rampage in the Targhee National Forest in the early 1980s, Symms presented a federal wildlife administrator with an empty shell casing. "You don't have to worry about that bear anymore," the senator said.

The bear later was found dead from gunshot wounds, a federal crime authorities presume was committed by a victimized rancher.

Idaho's only Democrat on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Larry LaRocco, is often overmatched on public lands issues.

Last spring, he pushed an Idaho wilderness bill to ban logging on another 1.25 million acres of roadless lands.

Craig and fellow Republican Sen. Dirk Kempthorne are fighting it. They teamed up again in September, but failed to stop an out-of-court settlement that restricts timber harvests in the Clearwater National Forest.

Craig, a former Boise doughnut shop owner, said he still solicits advice from his predecessor, McClure, on how to influence the public lands debate.

Now the senior Republican on a subcommittee that oversees the Forest Service, Craig said the agency's buck should continue to stop with Congress.

"I'm on the board of directors of the U.S. Forest Service," Craig said. "Like any CEO of a corpora
tion, the chief must get that budget through the board of directors."

Changing of the White House

After a dozen years of Republican rule, new political forces are influencing Inland Northwest forests.

The Clinton administration convened a timber summit in April and six months later beheaded the Forest Service when it fired Dale Robertson as the agency's chief.

Last week, Clinton picked environmental hero and wildlife biologist Jack Ward Thomas as the agency's leader.

The new White House advocates a gentle, science-based approach to managing and logging the nation's forests.

Congress also changed course this year, slicing Forest Service budget proposals for timber and road construction, then doubling last year's expenditures to protect soil and water.

Some Capitol Hill observers say the changes reflect the new administration's environmental bent. Others say it's a response to U.S. District Judge William Dwyer's 1991 conclusion that the Forest Service " willfully" violated federal laws in spotted owl woodlands west of the Cascades.

But there is still no united fronteven among top Democrats who control the White House and both chambers of Congress.

After Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced plans last spring to curtail logging in the Pacific Northwest, Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley confronted him privately in a shouting match.

"The meeting was very intense," Babbitt later said. "The speaker was very candid."

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TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

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Foley strives to be the consummate diplomat on forestry issues, cultivating support from both sides, leaving everyone mystified as to his true allegiances.

Last year, he almost single-handedly saved the citizens' right to challenge timber salesenvironmentalists' most effective tool for blocking proposed timber harvests on federal lands.

He also helped corral tax dollars for a scientific forest health study in Eastern Washington and Oregon.

But many environmentalists still contend Foley is seduced by timber money.

The industry gave Foley $22,000 for his 1992 campaignthe seventh-largest contribution from timber-related companies received by the 435 House members.

The busy speaker delegates much of his forest oversight to staffer Nick Ashmore.

Ashmore isn't bashful about advising managers of the Colville National Forest, which falls within Foley's 5th District.

An internal Colville memorandum refers to a Sept. 18,1987, meeting in Foley's Capitol office. Colville Supervisor Schultz and an assistant gathered with Ashmore and aides for Washington state's two U.S. senators to discuss the forest's 10-year management plan.

"Nick instructed us on 'what we need to do,' " the memo stated.

Ashmore is often the only political aide allowed into exclusive meetings when Northwest lawmakers discuss forest policy.

Foley said it's Congress' job to scrutinize the Forest Service and the administration that runs it.

"There's always some problem in trusting any administration in power, and I'm talking about either party," Foley said. "Congress has to have the ability to raise questions about the compliance of law."

(Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
The Fall Guy: John Mumma, former regional supervisor for forests in Idaho and Montana, blames lawmakers for ending his Forest Service career.

Forest Service sources say it could take two or three years for the Clinton administration to grasp the mechanics of the agency, a 40,000-employee bureaucracy sprawled over 156 forests and accountable for $3.5 billion.

By that time, the Democrats could be cleaning out their White House desks for the Republicans, who would likely try to steer the Forest Service in another direction.

November 25, 1993
Copyright 1993, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

Chapter 2

Revolving Doors

(Rick Johnson photo)
Office of United States Senator Dirk Kempthorne in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

McClure leaves Senate for Boise Cascade

Associated Press

BOISESen. James McClure has found something else to keep him busy after his retirement next month.

The Idaho Republican was elected Thursday to Boise Cascade Corp.'s board of directors. He will join the forest products company's board Jan. 4.

McClure, 65, Idaho's senior senator and the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is stepping down after six years in the House and 18 years in the Senate.

His main occupation after ending his congres
sional career will be with the Boise law firm of Givens, Pursley, Webb & Huntley. He also will be a partner in a Washington, D.C., consulting firm.

In addition, McClure is vice chairman of the board of trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is on the board of governors of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

The senator is an Idaho native and a graduate of the University of Idaho law school.

Lewiston Tribune
December 14, 1990

Ex-Idaho senators find home inside the Beltway

McClure, Symms cash in on public service


He's married again, to former aide Loretta Fuller, the assistant sergeant-at-arms in the Senate. His lobbying firm, Symms, Lehn and Associates, operates from a suite in an antique brick building in Alexandria, Va., minutes from Capitol Hill. Symms heads The Freedom Alliance, the successful conservative fund-raising and political action group founded by Iran-Contra figure Oliver North.

"I'm starting over, basically, financially. So, I need to go out and make some money," Symms said, referring to the terms of his divorce from his first wife, which cost him about two-thirds of his $55,000 annual Senate pension. "I love Idaho and there's no question I'll be back some day, but Loretta has to work long hours, and there's no question where she has to live."

McClure retired from the Senate four years ago, but he's still a power under the Capitol dome, where he is the


By Dean Miller, Staff writer


WASHINGTON When they were U.S. senators from Idaho, Jim McClure and Steve Symms made careers regaling voters with tales about the evils of Washington, D.C., and pining for home.

Now that they've retired from the Senate, they are working as lobbyists and can't seem to tear themselves away from their Babylon on the Potomac.

Symms, who served two decades in the House and Senate before retiring in 1992, lives full time inside the Beltway, the interstate that rings Washington and divides those outside the center of power from those on the inside.

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September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS

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advocates reform.

"This is expertise and contacts that were gained at public expense at the time when they were representing the American public," said Common Cause lobbyist Meredith McGehee. "We don't believe they should cash in on that."

She said researchers have found that as many as 139 former members of Congress now lobby their former colleagues.

"The public sees public officials entering the revolving door and emerging as high-priced influence peddlers," she said, quoting President Clinton. "It increases public skepticism."

McClure said public cynicism about lobbyist influence springs from ignorance. Members of Congress aren't so much swayed by lobbyists as they are given ammunition for stronger arguments, he said.

"I understand the general public's concern about a political process from which they feel alienated," he said. '"Because they don't understand how things happen, they get suspicious."

Symms said corporate and other clients have a right to hire experts to get what they want from the government.

"There's nothing criminal about it," he said. "We don't represent anybody that I don't believe in the issue."

So far, Symms has believed in an American firm that tried to sell industrial furnaces to Iraq and a Jewish organization requesting humanitarian aid money to distribute in the former Soviet Union.

In the past, Symms said aid to the former Soviet Union was likely to be wasted or lost, but he sought money for Rabbi Milton Balkany's Helping Hands.

The furnace company's case is more in keeping with Symms' longstanding efforts to help business. On behalf of Consarco, Symms pushed for changes in the law to help the New Jersey company collect unpaid bills from assets of the Iraqi government that were frozen during the Gulf War.

Consarco had U.S. government approval to ship the furnaces, because Iraq certified they would be used to make prostheses for war veterans. At the last minute, U.S. officials learned they were actually for nuclear weapons production and blocked the shipment.

Symms said he tried to win passage of legislation and set up meetings between Consarco's lawyers and Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, but that the matter has moved to court.

leading lobbyist for the mining industry.

McClure and two of his former Senate aides do business from a posh suite furnished in hardwood antiques on the eighth floor of a Pennsylvania Avenue building just off the Capitol Mall.

After 24 years in the House and Senate, McClure is a fixture of establishment Washington, serving on the board of trustees of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Natural History Museum and Wolf Trap, Washington's outdoor music festival.

All told, he spends about five months a year in Washington and the rest of the year in Boise or traveling to meetings of the three corporate boards on which he sits, he said.

"Really, the reason I'm here at all is the 1872 Mining Law reform," McClure said. "I feel very strongly about this mining law issue and this is where it's being done."

Washington is also where the money is.

President Bill Clinton is boosting business at McClure, Gerard and Neuenschwander. His interior secretary, Bruce Babbitt, wants companies to pay more for mining on federal lands.

McClure leads the counterattack as chief strategist for the Mineral Resources Alliance. It is a group of about two dozen of the world's largest mining companies that pays him for his connections in working to defeat what they consider excessive royalty and cleanup proposals.

Symms, Lehn and Associates has made money off Bill Clinton, too.

A small insurance company paid Symms' firm more than $40,000 to work for the defeat of Clinton's proposed health care plan.

And when the North American Free Trade Agreement ran into trouble, Mexican industrialist Marcos Katz paid Symms $25,000 to push for approval of the new trade rules.

Lobbying, Symms said, was a logical next step from the Senate. "It's only natural that people who know the system and know all the people are often better at that kind of thing," he said.

McClure, who is the former chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he sells expertise, not access.

"I'm much more a consultant than I am a lobbyist," McClure said. "Most of our work is coordinating. It isn't going up and button-holing members of Congress."

McClure and Symms are great examples of a system gone wrong, says Common Cause, a citizen group that

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TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

Clients of lobbying firms

Former Idaho senators Jim McClure and Steve Symms currently head lobbying firms in Washington, D.C.. Here's what they said on retirement and a list of the clients each represents.

Jim McClure, announcing his retirement on Jan. 5, 1990:

"I'm not retiring. I'm changing jobs, perhaps for one with less pressure."

Lobbying firm, McClure, Gerard and Neuenschwander:

Lobbies in Washington, D.C., for these companies and groups on...



Steve Symms, announcing his retirement Aug. 7, 1991: "When I went to Washington, I said I wanted you to be as free when I left as when I came...I will have worked to preserve your liberty for 20 years. I think it is now my turn to seek my own."

Lobbying firm, Symms, Lehn and Associates:

Lobbies in Washington, D.C., for these companies and groups:


Armenian Assembly of America

AIA (Agricultural Insurance Administrators)

Rabbi Milton Balkany - Seeking federal fund for his "Helping Hands" relief efforts in former Soviet Union

China External Trade Development Council (Taiwan)

Marcos D. Katz - Mexican industrialist pushing for NAFTA approval

Marks and Murase - Law firm with clients seeking to free up assets in Iraq

Par Pharmaceutical - Drug company opposed to Clinton health care proposals

Stewart Erickson Construction - Manufacturer seeking government support for special collapsible containers used in trucking waste.

SOURCES: Clerk of the U.S. House, Clerk of the U.S. Senate.


Cray Research Inc.
Electric Reliability Coalition
Idaho-West Energy Co.
Idaho Power Co.
ICF International Inc.
L.B. Industries
Pacific Gas Transmission Co.
FMC Corp.
General Atomics
Lockheed Corp. (new lead contractor at
Idaho National Engineering Lab)
Nichols Enterprises
Potlatch Corp.
National Endangered Species
Act Reform Coalition
National Rifle Association
World Cup USA 1994 Inc.
American Basque Foundation
American Mining Congress
Battle Mountain Gold Co.
Brush Wellman Inc.
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp.
Crown Butte Mines Corp.
Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.
Echo Bay Mines
Euro-Nevada Mining Corp. Inc.
FMC Gold
Gold Fields Mining Corp.
Hecla Mining Co.
Homestake Mining
Kennecott Corp.
Magma Copper Co.
Newmont Mining Corp.
Pegasus Gold Corp.
Phelps Dodge Corp.
Placer Dome US Inc.
Santa Fe Railroad
Pacific Gold Corp.
Santa Fe Pacific Minerals Co.
Stillwater Mining Co.
(continued from last page)

$26,583 in fees since 1991.

But the federal reports can be misleading, since McClure only reports his billings for time spent lobbying on Capitol Hill.

McClure's concern cost Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. about $437,000 in the last three years. The company's director of government affairs says most of that money was for McClure's work on 1872 Mining Law reform.

Coeur d'Alene Mines is just one of about 24 companies belonging to the Mineral Resources Alliance. Total alliance members payments to McClure were unavailable.

Coeur d'Alene Mines considers the hundreds of thousands McClure's firm is charging a bargain, said government affairs manager Rod Higgins. "What we stand to lose with the current legislation on the table is
Although McClure says the reason he stays in Washington is to fight for the survival of the domestic mining industry, mining work isn't all that keeps him there.

Last week he flew a Basque flag in his office to celebrate landing the contract to lobby for the Basque American Foundation. There's also a crystal soccer ball on his desk, a gift from World Cup USA 1994, Inc., for whom his firm won approval of a set of silver commemorative coins.

What does the professional concern of Symms and McClure cost?

Lobbyist reports filed with Congress show Symms was paid $30,000 by the Armenians in July and that Rabbi Balkany has paid about $82,000 in the last two years. All told, Symms, Lehn has reported more than $300,000 in fees in the last two years.

McClure's billings look more modest than Symms' if you go by congressional records alone, which show

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many, many times that," he said of the mining industry, "hundreds of millions."

How does McClure operate?

No one is quite sure, but there's little doubt he does it well.

"Considering we're supposed to have the greenest (most environmentalist) administration that ever was, we haven't got very much to show for it," said Jim Lyon, the lobbyist for the Mineral Policy Center, a conservation group.

"Gerard is the front man. McClure you never see," Lyon said, referring to Jack Gerard, McClure's former legislative aide and current partner.

"We only see the fingerprints of his kind of organization, the effectiveness of his operation," Lyon said. He credited McClure with organizing quicker and more focused action by Congressional allies.

Here's a recent example.

When Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, recently pushed for a moratorium on further mine permits on public lands, Gerard was in Rep. Larry LaRocco's office the morning of the vote.

After confirming that LaRocco was opposed to the moratorium, Gerard offered to provide him with "talking points" (key information for emphasis in debate) and other research with which to rebut Regula's arguments. He was in and out of LaRocco's office in five minutes.

Hours later, LaRocco took to the House floor to argue as Gerard had earlier that day in his office, that mining law reform ought to be accomplished in a comprehensive bill, not bit by bit.

He cited statistics indicating that silver mining could once again become an active industry in North Idaho if Congress does not impose excessive royalties and he assured members that the industry is ready to accept "reasonable mining law reform."

The non-binding moratorium proposal was approved by the House 318-64, but McClure said the contact with LaRocco was a classic example of what a good lobbyist does.

"I've never thought lobbyists are bad," McClure said. "We're a resource to them (members of Congress) in doing what they want to do."

Symms said much of his work is simply helping people get in the door to make their case for reduced government restrictions or a share of federal funds.

Lobbying for NAFTA on behalf of the Mexican industrialist, Symms teamed up with Bill Daley, brother of Democratic Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

"We helped set up a bunch of meetings with different members of the House," Symms said. "I got a hold of (House Minority Whip Newt) Gingrich . . . we set it up for him to talk with them."

For other clients, Symms' firm makes the rounds of congressional offices, seeking support for new legislation.

Hoping to open the way for $140 million in humanitarian aid that has never made it to Armenia, the Armenian Assembly of America hired Symms, Lehn and Associates to lobby for a law cutting off aid to countries like Turkey that have blocked American aid convoys.

Partner Al Lehn is a former staffer for Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, a longtime ally of the assembly. "Basically, what they provide is additional effort," said assembly executive director Ross Vartian. "With Symms-Lehn there is no learning curve on these issues ... Al already knows."

Symms said his career in the Senate and Lehn's close ties to Bob Dole may give them extra access to high government officials, but their clients are also paying for political and legislative expertise.

"If we had people willing to give power back to the states, you wouldn't have all these people back here," he said. But until Congress' powers diminish, Symms said, political amateurs will need to hire experts like himself who learned how Congress works by being members of Congress.

September 25, 1994. Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

AuCoin emerges as lobbyist for timber industry

The former congressman says the main threat to a "balanced solution" is the
"extreme green left," not the industry

By JEFF MAPES. The Oregonian staff

Former Democratic Rep. Les AuCoin, who sought a middle ground between timber and environmental interests when he ran for the U.S. Senate last year, has emerged as a key lobbyist for the timber industry.

AuCoin said he had not changed his views on the Northwest's forest crisis, but he said he thought the main threat against a "balanced solution" now came "from the extreme green left."

The veteran politician is barred from lobbying Congress for a year after he left the House in January.

He has had several meetings with Clinton administration officials who are drafting a new plan for managing the region's forests. AuCoin also has helped timber officials plan their lobbying strategy.

AuCoin works for Bogle & Gates, a Seattle-based law firm that represents the Northwest Forest Resources Council. This group includes a coalition of timber companies and associations. Its chairman is John Hampton, a Portland lumberman.

AuCoin's status as a Democrat also appears to help make him an
tainer check from the industry. Not much has changed."

Several environmentalists spread the rumor that AuCoin and Mike Draper of the Western Council of Industrial Workers had met with Katie McGinty, who heads Clinton's Office of Environmental Policy, and warned her that the industry would fight a proposed harvest level of less than 2.5 billion board-feet in Oregon and Washington.

AuCoin and Draper said they met with her but did not issue any ultimatum or harvest numbers. The White House confirmed their account of the meeting.

During his Senate campaign, AuCoin said he did not want to gut the nation's environmental laws and that he wanted a solution that protected old-growth forests and the spotted owl, while also preserving as many mill jobs as possible.

AuCoin said the day after his bruising loss to Packwood that he wouldn't become a lobbyist. But AuCoin, saying he had been reacting emotionally, in January went to work for Bogle & Gates as director of government relations.

AuCoin said then he would work "on issues of my choice" and that "anyone who wants to go out and annihilate the spotted owl should not pick up the phone and


effective advocate for the industry. Hampton said it was "politically naive" to expect otherwise.

Environmentalists wooed by AuCoin during his unsuccessful Senate race against Republican Bob Packwood say they are unhappybut not surprisedby AuCoin's new role.

Environmental lobbyists fought with AuCoin in the mid-1980s when he pushed for an increase in timber harvests from his seat on the House Appropriations Committee. They say it was only during the Senate campaign that AuCoin moved closer to their position.

"He's lobbying hard for unsustainable rates of logging like he did when he was on the committee," said Brock Evans of the National Audubon Society. "It sounds like a reversion to previous form."

"He used to get a lot of his campaign contributions from the timber industry," said Bob Chlopak of Americans for the Ancient Forest, "and now he's getting his re

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September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS

Chapter 3

Corporate Money and Political Power
Big money still rules

U.S. politics in '92


Associated Press

WASHINGTONBig money was bigger than ever in the 1992 election.

An estimated $100 million poured into the presidential election from corporations and fat cat donorsexactly the kind of donations that post-Watergate reforms sought to eliminate by financing White House campaigns with tax dollars.

In the congressional races, big spending equaled winning once again, as all but a few incumbents survived the anti-Washington mood of the electorate. As usual, their warchests got plenty of help from political action committees.

"More than in any other election, in 1992 you saw the failure of existing campaign-finance laws and rules," lamented Ellen Miller, executive director of the watchdog Center for Responsive Politics.

"I think we're worse off today than before Watergate, because there is more big money than ever," she said.

One man who observed the abuses of that era, former Senate Watergate committee chief counsel Samuel Dash, agreed. "I think
once again we're in a situation unfortunately where money is buying power," he said.

But Dash said Bill Clinton's incoming administration is poised to make a change, noting the Democrat has already said he would have signed the sweeping campaign finance reform bill passed by Congress earlier this year but vetoed by President Bush.

That bill would have eliminated the so-called soft money loophole that unions and corporations, forbidden from donating directly to candidates, have used to plow large sums of money, often upwards of $100,000, to the political parties.

"It will be difficult for Clinton to back away from that," Dash said.

Christine Varney, general counsel to Clinton's campaign, predicted campaign finance reform would be a concern "early on.... He's committed to real change," she said.

Clinton's own campaign benefited much from the Democratic Party's explosion of soft money from rich donors who'll now have an interest in the policies his administration crafts.

The same types of fat-cat donations to presidential candidates during the Watergate era led Congress to change the rules. They limited individual contributions to $1,000 per candidate per election, refined the prohibition against corporate donations, and ended presidential candidates' reliance on private money by fully financing their campaigns and conventions with tax dollars.

But the "soft-money" loophole in those rules allowed the huge private contributions to continue, as general-purpose gifts to the political parties.

Soft money first became an issue four years ago, but an Associated Press review earlier this year revealed the practice quietly resumed in 1980, less than five years after the post-Watergate reforms.

And while more than $170 million in tax money was given to the presidential campaigns, the two major parties collected more than $70 million in soft money to pay for get-out-the-vote drives and other activities.

Lewiston Tribune
November 7, 1992

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994



Bribing the judges of Congress to vote right

If an insurance company were involved in a lawsuit and, during the course of the trial, gave the judge a
campaign contribution, both the insurance company and the judge would be in serious legal difficulty.

But if it is a member of Congress trying to decide the issue of whether to change the health insurance system, and an insurance company gives the congressman a campaign contribution, the only consequence is the probable vote of the congressman for whatever the insurance company wants.

During this year's congressional attempts to reform health care, lobbyists for the insurance industry made campaign contributions to members of Congress involved in the decisionwhile they were making it. Indeed, those on the other side of the issue also made contributions to mem
bers of Congress. It was like a judge getting greased by the plaintiff or the defendant while deciding a case between the two.

Except judges don't do that. They don't do that because it is grounds for legal grief. And they don't do it because the judicial profession is a calling that tends to appeal to people with some ideals, some standards, some personal ethics that keep them from doing tacky things like that even if the law permitted it.

That is the whole point of objections to the chronic conflicts of interest in Congress, whether in the insurance industry, the defense industry or some other mother load of de facto graft. It should not require a law for an ethical person to see that it is poor policy to accept gratuities from any of the parties to a dispute you are deciding.

Bribing members of Congress with campaign contributions at the very time they are deciding an issue involving the contributors may be legally safe, but both the legislators who accepted that money and the industry lobbyists who paid it know that what they did is sleazy, at odds with deciding these matters in the public interest and therefore wrong, wrong, wrong.

You might as well appear before a judge on a speeding ticket and, just before he decides your case, grandly hand him a $100 bill. Of course, no congressman nor insurance industry lobbyist would ever do anything like that.

But only because it's against the law.



Lewiston Morning Tribune
September 17, 1994
(continued from page 35)

call me."

In a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., on Wednesday AuCoin said his views hadn't changed.

"I've given them the best advice I could," AuCoin said of his new clients, "which is to proceed to advocate to this administration a position that represents a balanced approach."

AuCoin said he finds a new willingness among timber officials to follow an approach that protects old-growth forests and wildlife, while also preserving as many mill jobs as possible.


June 12, 1993

September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS

NW legislators get most from timber lobby

Hatfield, Gorton and Kempthorne among those receiving hefty industry contributions

By Scott Sonner, Associated Press

WASHINGTONThe forest products industry has pumped more than $7 million into congressional political campaigns over the past five years, with the biggest share directed at members in the Pacific Northwest, a report said Thursday.

Sen. Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., headed the list in the report released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Western Ancient Forest Campaign, "American Taxpayers' Forests Destroyed: Members of Congress Reap the Benefits."

Freshman Idaho Sen. Dirk Kempthorne was sixth overall in the Senate, receiving $55,000. Senior Sen. Larry Craig, a Republican, reported $51,300 in contributions, putting him just out of the top 10.

In the House, Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., and House Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash., ranked sixth and seventh in contributions for their 1992 re-election campaigns, with $22,200 and $21,999, respectively.

Idaho's two representatives, Democrat Larry LaRocco and Republican Michael Crapo were both in the top 20, LaRocco 11th at
$19.250 and Crapo 13th at $18,700.

Members of the Idaho, Washington and Oregon congressional delegations received more than twice the average timber PAC contributions of other members of Congress, the report said.

"Our national heritage is being sold to the highest bidder," said Susan Birmingham, US PIRG's environmental advocate.

"For every dollar that members of Congress take from the timber industry, the remaining ancient forests move closer to extinction," she said.

Political action committees for the timber and paper industry contributed $3.8 million to Senate campaigns from 1987-92, the report said. On the House side, the report reviewed only contributions for 1991-92, finding a total of $3.2 million.

Hatfield, ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, picked up $87,786 for his 1990 re-election campaign. A spokesman for Hatfield's office said the senator had no immediate comment.

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., was second with $74,000, followed by Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., with $58,514. Sen. Bob Packwood, R-
Ore., ranked eighth among senators with $52,500.

Freshman Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., received only $10,000. But the four Northwest senators combined received an average of $51,700 in timber PAC money, compared to a Senate-wide average of $21,616.

Their money accounted for more than one third of all the timber industry PAC contributions to Northwest House members. Freshmen Reps. Elizabeth Furse, D-Ore., and Jay Inslee, D-Wash., were the only Northwest members who received no money from timber PACs, the report said.

Furse's opponent in last year's race, former Oregon Republican State Treasurer Tony Meeker, led all House candidates nationwide with $46,556 in timber PAC contributions.

Outside the Northwest, timber industry PACs spent more than $52,000 to defeat two prominent advocates of forest protection former Reps. Jim Jontz, D-Ind., and Peter Kostmayer, D-Pa., the report said.

Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., who unseated Jontz, led all current House members with $34,498 from timber industry PACs. Rep. James Greenwood, R-Pa., who defeated

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Associated Press

WASHINGTONHere is a list of forest-products industry contributions to members of Congress reported by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Western Ancient Forest Campaign. The source of the data is the National Library on Money and Politics in Washington D.C. For the Senate, the money includes 1987-92. For the House, only 1991 -92:

1. Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., $87,786
2. Dan Coats, R-Ind., $74,000
3. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., $58,514
4. Trent Lott, R-Miss., $57,510
5. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., $56,000
6. Dirk Kempthorne, R-Idaho, $55,000
7. Hank Brown, R-Colo., $53,500
8. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., $52,500
9. Howell Heflin, D-Ala., $52,500
10. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., $52,200
1. Stephen Buyer, R-Ind., $34,498
2. Charles Taylor, R-N.C., $30,200
3. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, $24,173
4. Toby Roth, R-Wis., $23,400
5. John Reed, D-R.I., $22,500
6. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., $22,200
7. Tom Foley, D-Wash., $21,999
8. James McCrery, R-La., $20,650
9. John Dollittle, R-Calif., $20,450
10.John Olver, D-Mass., $20,000
11. Larry LaRocco, D-Idaho, $19,250
12. Don Young, R-Alaska, $19,250
13. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, $18,700
14. Sonny Callahan, R-Ala., $18,249
15. William Emerson, R-Mo., $17,981
16. James Greenwood, R-Pa., $17,750
17. Al Swift, D-Wash., $17,250
18. Scott Klug, R-Wis., $17,100
19.VicFazio D-Calif., $16,300
20. Harold Volkmer D-Mo., $16,250
1. Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., $87,786
2. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., $58,514
3. Dirk Kempthorne, R-ldaho, $55,000
4. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., $52,500
5. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, $51,300
6. Patty Murray, D-Wash., $10,000
1. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. (6), $22,200
2. Tom Foley, D-Wash. (7), $21,999
3. Larry LaRocco, D-Idaho (11), $19,250
4. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho (13), $18,700
5. Al Swift, D-Wash. (17), $17,250
6. Bob Smith R-Ore., $14,850
7. Jennifer Dunn, R-Wash., $13,818
8. Peter Defazio, D-Ore., $10,500
9. Jolene Unsoeld, D-Wash., $8,500
10. Mike Kopetski, D-Ore., $7,402
11. Mike Kreidler D-Wash., $6,000
12. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., $5,000
13. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., $1,500
14. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., $1,000
15. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., none
16. Elizabeth Furse, D-Ore., none
Lewiston Morning Tribune
September 3, 1993
(continued from last page)
·Westvaco Corp. Political Participation Program, $242,450
·Volunteers for Better Government of International Paper Co., $219,210
·GP Employees Fund of Georgia-Pacific Corp., $124,092
·Champion International Corp., $107,227
·Simpson Investment Co., PAC, $86,150
·Weyerhaeuser Co. Special Shareholders PAC, $81,750
· Scott Paper Co. PAC, $81,298
Lewiston Morning Tribune
September 3, 1993
Kostmayer, picked up $17,750.
The biggest source of the congressional contributions was nearly $1.4 million from an affiliate of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the Carpenters Legislative Improvement Committee.
Build PAC of the National Association of Home Builders contributed $1.1 million dating to 1987, the report said.
The other top donors, according to the report, were:
·Stone Container Corp. PAC, $352,450

Slade Gorton going, going, gone to timber

Washington Sen. Slade Gorton is no worse than most of the other members of the Senate when it comes to accepting contributions from special interests. But that's not a complimentto Gorton or to the Senate.

A list of his contributors for next year's re-election bid has been released and of course it is filled with glaring contributions by the fistful from the timber industry. That means that Gorton's vote is virtually decided on timber issues, not just in a next term, if there is one, but in the remainder of this one. The timber industry has reingratiated itself with the senator.

There are also predictable contributions on the list from the Washington computer and aviation industries. And that's not very tidy either but at least those industries tend to involve issues on which there is little division among the voters of Washington.

Not so timber issues. Washington is a state involved in a debate with itself over where to draw the line on keeping the timber industry healthy while preserving some of the exceptional forests of the state.

These latest contributions pretty much settle that debate in Gorton's mind. His vote on the harvest-versus-conserve issue has been nailed down. Crank up your chainsaw.

That doesn't make Gorton a bit different from practically everyone else in the congressional elections, including anyone who might defeat him next year and vote the money given by environmentalists. It is the system that stinks, not Gorton.

But stink it does, to high heaven. Any system that lets money decide a senator's vote ahead of time is in need of overhaul.

How long before we begin the public financing of Senate campaigns and leave legislators like Gorton indebted only to the people as a whole?B.H.

Lewiston Tribune
August 12, 1993

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

(Spokesman-Review 9-29-94)

Timber executives give to Gorton

By Scott Sonner, Associated Press

WASHINGTONExecutives for more than a dozen timber companies and for The Boeing Co., Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Corp. are helping Sen. Slade Gorton off to a good start in his bid for a multimillion dollar re-election campaign.

Gorton, R-Wash., collected $475,950 in campaign contributions the first six months of this year including $123,465 from political action committees, according to the report he filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The two-term senator reported
$443,070 cash on hand June 30.

A recent media report said Gorton wants to raise $7 million for his 1994 re-election bid but Deborah Brunton a spokeswoman for the senator, said Tuesday no such goal had been established. She declined to provide an estimate or project a range of estimated costs.

It will be Gorton's fourth Senate campaign. He served from 1980-86 but lost the 1986 election to Sen. Brock Adams, D-Wash. Gorton defeated Democrat Mike Lowry in 1988 to regain the Senate. Lowry took office as governor this year.

Gorton's biggest PAC contributions so far include $5,000 from

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Timber industry on winning side with help for GOP candidates

LEWISTON (AP)Finance reports for state campaigns show Idaho's four largest timber industry contributors spent more
than $91,000 on Republicans, who won big majorities in the Idaho House and Senate.

Only $15,500 went to Democrats, and much of that was spent in Democratic primaries pitting pro-industry candidates against others more environmentally oriented.

But Senate President Pro Tem Jerry Twiggs, R-Blackfoot, said the GOP majorities of 23-12 in the Senate and 50-20 in the House would generally be receptive to business interests even without campaign contributions.

"What I do see is quite a number of business-oriented people in the Legislature," Twiggs said. "I don't think business will have any more clout because of who they supported."

Still, environmentalists fear the Idaho Legislature's 1993 session will pass measures to weaken federal and state envi
ronmental controls.

"I think we're going to be playing a lot of defensive battles in protecting the environment," said Mike Medberry of Ketchum, public lands director for the Idaho Conservation League.

"It's hard to predict what kind of crazy ideas might come out of this Legislature," he said. "I hope reason will prevail, but I have no great expectations."

But Joseph Hinson, executive vice president of the Intermountain Forest Industry Association in Coeur d'Alene, said he does not expect timber to have many issues for lawmakers to address.

"Just because we wound up on the winning side of a lot of races in which we contributed, we're not going to go down there with a real heavy legislative agenda," Hinsor said.

Timber interests will seek to trim a fire protection assessment imposed on
private forest landowners by the state Land Board and will fight efforts to implement administrative appeals procedures for timber sales on state lands.

But the major legislative issue facing the industry may be taxes rather than environmental policy, Potlatch Corp. spokesman Todd Maddock of Lewiston said Tuesday.

If lawmakers consider a tax shift to shore up the state budget, the industry may find itself defending its 3 percent investment tax credit or its exemptions under Idaho's 5 percent sales tax.

"We'll be watching the tax issue and trying to reflect our industry so that we aren't given, let's say, some kind of excessive tax load," Maddock said.

Coeur D'Alene Press
December 31, 1992
(continued from last page)

Seven Microsoft executives, including company chairman and cofounder Bill Gates, have given Gorton at least $250 each. Christopher Larson of Seattle contributed the most$1,750.

Three executives for Nintendo Corp. and Nintendo of America have contributed a total of $1,750, while four executives at Boeing have provided a total of $3,000, $1,000 of it from Frank Shrontz, the company chairman.

McCaw Communications' political action committee and its employees have combined to contribute $6,500.

Hudson Valley PAC, a pro-lsrael PAC based in New York; $5,000 from SMAC PAC, a sheet-metal and air conditioning contractors' group in Seattle, and $4,515 from Weyerhaeuser PAC, representing the Tacoma-based wood-products giant.

More impressive is the list of timber-company executives who have penned personal contributions to Gorton's re-election campaign for a total of more than $20,000 from timber PACs and related individuals.

Those contributions include individual checks for $250 or more from representatives of ITT Rayonier Quinault Logging Corp.
of Aberdeen, Welco Lumber Co. of Lake Stevens, Delson Lumber Co. of Olympia, Hoh River Timber of Forks, Simpson Timber Co., Summit Timber, Plum Creek Timber Co. Pacific Lumber/Shipping, Willapa Logging Co., Manke Lumber of Tacoma and Weyerhaeuser.

Four Weyerhaeuser executives each contributed $250 and the company's retired chairman, Norton Clapp, gave $1,000. Three Plum Creek officials contributed $250 each.

The Lumber Dealers PAC also contributed $1,000. Gus Kuehne of Tacoma, head of the Northwest Independent Forest Manufacturers Association, gave $500.

August 11, 1993. Copyright 1993, Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of Spokesman-Review

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

Anti-Williams memo sent with Plum Creek checks

By William Simonsen

On Sept. 17 employees at the Plum Creek mill in Columbia Falls received something extra with their paychecks a memo from the manager of the mill inviting them to an anti-wilderness rally and political literature containing slogans against incumbent Rep. Pat Williams, D-Mont.

The memo from Dennis Robinson was written on Plum Creek stationery.

Charlie Grenier, vice president of Plum Creek's Rocky Mountain Division, said attaching the memo and political literature to the paychecks "was a mistake."

He said a notice about the rally was sent out to four other Plum Creek mills in westem Montana, but was not passed out with paychecks at the other mills.

Grenier said it was posted on bulletin boards at the other mills.

The memo said a rally was planned "in response to the wilderness proposal by Representatives Vinto (sic) and Williams."

"The liberal politicians are trying to take away our reasons for living in Montana. Let's not let it happen," Robinson's memo said.

Montana elections laws state, "It is unlawful for any employer, in paying his employees the salary or wages due them, to include with their pay the name of any candidate or any political mottos, devices, or arguments..."

It also states, "It is unlawful for an employer to exhibit in a place where his employees may be working any handbill or placard containing any threat, promise, notice or information" his job will be jeopardized if a certain candidate is elected.

A staff member of Dolores Colberg, state commissioner of political practice, said Friday that Colberg was in Ontario, Canada, attending a conference and would not return until Oct. 5 .

It is "hard to believe that the memo got inadvertently stapled to the paychecks. It's a stretch to believe an unauthorized person can go in and do this."

One of Colberg's duties is to investigate all complaints of un1awful election practices.

Jim Shire, assistant attorney general and legal counsel for Colberg, said Friday he could not comment on the case or investigate any charges until he was assigned to do so by Colberg.

Williams is running against Rep. Ron Marlenee, R-Mont. Will Brooke, campaign manager for Marlenee, said the memo and the slogans did not originate from the Marlenee campaign.

He said, however, "We approve of free speech. We approve of people making their feelings known about legislation that is pending."

"I would be less than candid if I said we didn't like it," said Brooke.

Joe Lamson, Williams' campaign manager, said he was more concerned about voters getting inaccurate information than about possible violations of election laws.

He said, "We are most concerned that people know the wilderness bill doesn't affect the timber supply to mills. To give that impression is false."

Lamson said it was "hard to believe that the memo got inadvertently stapled to the paychecks. It's a stretch to believe an unauthorized person can go in and do this."

The packet attached to the paychecks contained a list of suggested slogans to be used at the rally. One of the slogans read: "No more Williams, wildemess or wolves." Another said, "Pat Williams

(continued on next page)

September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS

Plum Creek faces election charge



of the Missoulian


KALISPELL The Flathead County attorney filed a misdemeanor charge against Plum Creek Timber Co. on Tuesday for allegedly violating a state electioneering law last September.

The company is accused of stapling leaflets to employee paychecks that urged attendance at a rally to support multiple uses for public lands. In addition, the leaflets suggested slogans for picket signs, some of which targeted Rep. Pat Williams, R-Mont., for defeat for being too sympathetic to environmental and wilderness interests.

State law prohibits employers from sending out political materials with paychecks. The alleged violation occurred at the company's medium-density fiber
board plant in Columbia Falls.

County Attorney Tom Esch said the complaint charges the company with the violation but does not name any individuals.

He said company officials will be summoned to answer the complaint and enter a plea at a Justice Court hearing Jan. 21 at 2:30 p.m.

The offense carries a maximum fine of $1,000, or six months in jail if an individual is convicted.

After the leaflets appeared in pay envelopes, two citizen complaints were lodged against the company with former state Commissioner of Political Practices Dolores Colburg, who completed her investigation before her term expired last week.

Esch said he received her report on Monday and concluded that the action merited prosecution.

Though he didn't view the alleged violation as a serious crime, Esch said campaign practice standards must be maintained.

"It would be just as wrong if they disseminated wilderness stuff making derogatory remarks about (former Rep. Ron) Marlenee," Esch said.

Charles Grenier, Plum Creek's Rocky Mountain vice president, declared after the incident came to light that he had not authorized the leaflets and that the firm would make amends if it had made a mistake.

Esch said he understood that the firm had previously circulated in-house memos "prohibiting that type of activity. They were either forgotten or ignored this time," he speculated.


January 6, 1993
(continued from last page)


Atlantic Richfield, Champion International, Montana Power Co. and Louisiana-Pacific.

Trank said, "It is nothing we advocated, nothing we promoted."

Ross Titus, president of the Flathead Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association, said in an open letter to the president of Plum Creek that the wilderness bill sponsored by Williams would release 98.5 percent of timber suitable for logging.

"Isn't 98.5 percent enough for Plum Creek?" he asked.

He said Plum Creek was attempting to create a false jobs issue, while company policies threatened the jobs of timber workers.

Titus said Plum Creek was endangering jobs by exporting raw logs to Asia, by logging its lands at an accelerated rate and by selling its timber land.


Bigfork Eagle, Bigfork, MT
September 30, 1992


just committed suicide in his election year."

Grenier said Friday he notified all mill managers on the company 's policy on flyers and posters.

Grenier said he did not know in advance about the memos going out with the paychecks.

"We regret thei ncident, but we can't undo it, he said.

He said the memo "was clearly not consistent with our policy on politics."

He said the memo was circulated with the paychecks in an effort to reach workers "who were off shift."

The memo said the rally was sponsored by the Westem Environmental Trade Association (WETA).

But Peggy Trank, WETA executive director, said her organization had no knowledge of the flyers.

WETA is a non-profit trade organization whose main contributors include Plum Creek, Exxon,

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994

Chapter 4

GOP kills campaign reform bill

Measure latest victim of partisan politics, self-interest of incumbents

New York Times

WASHINGTONA bill to overhaul the way election campaigns for Congress are financed died Friday, joining universal health insurance and other measures in the graveyard where so much legislation has been buried in the last days of this Congress.

The campaign finance bill was taken off the agenda after the Senate failed one last time to end a Republican filibuster. The vote was 52 to 46, eight shy of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and break the impasse.

The bill fell victim to the same forces that for more than a decade have killed measures to change the campaign finance system: partisan politics, differences between the Senate and House about how to deal with political action committees and, most of all, the self-interest of incumbent lawmakers.

President Clinton had nothing to say about the matter Friday, but the White House said it would be a topic of his radio address this morning. Although he strongly advocated changes in campaign finance rules during his race for the presidency, Clinton has not placed much public emphasis on the issue since he took office.

His press secretary, Dee Dee Myers, said: "Obviously, the president is very disappointed. It's something that he's been fighting for throughout the last 20 months."

The bill would have allowed partial public fi
nancing of congressional campaigns, required candidates who accepted the money to abide by limits on the amount they could spend and placed a lower ceiling on what political action committees could donate.

George J. Mitchell, the Senate majority leader, blamed Republicans for the demise of legislation. Their view, he said, is "tear down the institution so we can inherit the rubble."

"The very people who want to keep this system that has brought Congress into such disrepute are trying to be the beneficiaries of that disrepute," Mitchell, D-Maine, said on the Senate floor.

Fifty Democrats and two Republicans voted to end the filibuster. Six Democrats and 40 Republicans voted against it.

At a news conference, Sen. Mitch McCounell R-Ken., who led the filibuster, retorted, "I make no apologies for killing this turkey of a bill."

Fred Wertheimer, president of Common Cause, which has lobbied for campaign finance reform for a generation, found plenty of blame to go around: Republicans, who "have now opposed and obstructed every serious effort to clean up the corrupt campaign finance system for the past 20 years"; the House Democratic leadership, which "inexcusably delayed and delayed and delayed," and the president, who "never made campaign finance reform a priority."

October 1, 1994. Copyright 1994, by The Spokesman-Review. Used with permission of The Spokesman-Review

Filibuster dooms
lobbying reform

Bill's defeat means business as usual in Congress


WASHINGTONA bill that would have limited the power of lobbyists and sharply curtailed gifts to members of Congress was killed Thursday by Senate Republicans.

In a stunning reversal of earlier overwhelming votes in favor of the bills in both houses of Congress, the Senate fell 14 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to break a Republican filibuster and pass the legislation.

The practical effect of the vote will be to allow business as usual to continue here.

Thousands of unregistered lobbyists will still be able to ply their trade in unmolested secrecy. And members of Congress will continue to avail themselves of expensive meals, free vacation trips and other favors from lobbyists and special interests.

The bill's sponsors said the last-minute blitz to topple the bill was engineered by House Minority Leader Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., as part of his strategy both to deny Democrats an election-season victory and to portray the Democrat-controlled Congress as hopelessly inept.

The bill was defeated with the help of an unusual coalition of religious conservatives, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, the American Civil Liberties Union and a number of lobbyists for corporations, associations and unions.

The Republicans and their allies claimed the legislation placed unfair administrative burdens on
grass-roots lobbying organizations.

But government-watchdog groups sharply criticized the Senate action.

"The senators who today voted to block this lobby disclosure and gift-ban legislation after voting for the legislation earlier in this Congress have engaged in a level of hypocrisy rarely seen in American life," Common Cause President Fred Wertheimer said in a statement. "It is an effort by obstructionist senators to stay on the lobbyists' dole that currently pays for their vacation trips, Super Bowl tickets, free meals, entertainment and the like."

Bob Schiff, staff attorney at Public Citizen's Congress Watch, said a last-minute campaign by right-wing groups gave lawmakers the excuse they needed to dodge reform.

"People didn't want this reform and they took advantage of the cover that was given them by the campaign of misinformation as the reason to vote against the bill," he said. "We're convinced that the allegations of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich are baseless and this bill was a significant reform of the way business is done in Washington - and that's why it went down."

Lobbyists praised the bill's defeat, insisting there is nothing wrong with talking with a congressman over a burger or a golf green.

Fred Gebler, president of the American League of Lobbyists and a lobbyist for the EDS Corp., said the gift ban would have discriminated against lobbyists by making them adhere to higher standards than anyone else who contacts a member of Congress.

"Although the American League of Lobbyists has repeatedly supported disclosure legislation, the bill that was under consideration was fatally flawed since it provided inequitable treatment of lobbyists from regular citizens," Gebler said. "We feel that we have the same First Amendment rights as regular

(continued on next page)

TRANSITIONS September/October 1994
citizens. We thought it impinged on our rights of free speech and association."

Republicans moved late Thursday to remove their footprints from the scene of the reform bill's ambush. Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., proposed a scaled-back version that would cover only the ban on gifts.

It would not require the unregistered lobbyists here to reveal themselves and disclose whom they worked for and how much they spent to influence legislation and policy.

The Democratic sponsors of the bill regarded the Republican counter-plan coolly.

"I don't think they are doing anything which is feasible and which would significantly reform Congress," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., "because that runs into their argument that we're not capable of reforming itand therefore we should be booted out of office."

But Levin said he will "not close the door to significant reform" offers from Republicans. "However," he added, "I'm dubious that we'll see a serious proposal brought forward."

Rep. John Bryant, D-Texas, the chief House sponsor of the original bill, questioned whether there was enough time in the remaining hours of this congressional session to forge a compromise.

"What we're likely to see is a Republican effort to cover themselves with an unworkable and unacceptable proposal," Bryant said, "designed to make it seem as though they're in favor of improvements, when what they're really proposing couldn't be considered in the remaining time."

Although a second vote to surmount the filibuster is scheduled for this morning, the large margin of defeat on the first try makes success of that effort unlikely.

The vote Thursday to break the filibuster was 52-46, some 14 shy of the two-thirds majority required. Normally, only a three-fifths majority is needed, but the larger number was needed in this case because the legislation called for a change in the Senate's

Earlier this year, both the lobbying disclosure and gift ban provisions passed the Senate by 20 to 1 margins.

On the filibuster vote Thursday, 10 Democrats defected to the GOP and seven Republicans switched to the Democratic column. Notably, some 40 Republicans reversed their votes from last May on the original lobbying and gift ban proposals, when they approved the legislation.

The measure had passed the House last week by a comfortable margin, after first surviving a harrowing vote on a procedural motion to bring it to the floor.

Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., who led the fight against the bill, said it would have laid unfair and heavy registration and bookkeeping burdens on such lobbies, and forced them to reveal the names, addresses and places of business of their contributors. Both Levin and Bryant protested that such a reading was incorrect and intended solely to provide cover for the enemies of reform.

"There is absolutely nothing in our bill that would impinge on the rights of individuals to communicate directly or indirectly with their elected officials," Levin said, "and absolutely nothing in it would require the disclosure of membership lists."

One of the nation's most vocal grass-roots groups, Ross Perot's United We Stand America, agreed with Levin.

"USWA supports the passage of the bill," said USWA official Ross Verney in a memo to its state coordinators. "This bill will reduce the special-interest influence on policy-makers by closing the loopholes lobbyists use to provide gifts and junkets to public officials."

Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, another grass-roots lobbying organization, inveighed against the bill's opponents.

"Regretfully," she said, "it's very hard to get senators and representatives to reform themselves, and that's essentially what they were asked to do in this bill. Members just don't want change. They don't want limitations on gifts and free trips. So that phony 'grass-roots' issue raised by opponents was a great cover for them to vote against (stopping the

September/October 1994 TRANSITIONS