From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Healthy Forests Held Up by Senators Harkin and Bingaman

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 – E-mail: alra@landrights.org or
alra@governance.net  Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-210-2357 – Fax: 202-543-7126 – E-mail: landrightsnet@aol.com

Healthy Forests Held Up by Senators Harkin and Bingaman 

According to Congressional Quarterly, a pair of Democratic 'Holds' is blocking Senate action on compromise Healthy Forest bill.

Urgent Action Required Now!!

Call both your Senators now!  Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) have put a hold on the the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.  What they have done is a kind of filibuster.  There will be an attempt to break the filibuster early next week.   Most likely Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here is what you must do now:

-----1.  Call both your Senators to urge them not to support a filibuster but instead vote to pass the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HR 1904).  Urge your Senators to support the bi-partisan bill that was agreed upon by Senators Wyden (D-OR), Feinstein (D-CA), Lincoln (D-AR), Cochran (R-MS), Craig (R-ID, Crapo (R-ID) and Domenici (R-NM).

You can call every Senator at (202) 224-3121.  Or, just for fun, use the GREENS own 800 Free Number, 800-839-5276.  Another Free Number  is (800) 648-3516.   

-----2.  Call Senators Tom Harkin and Jeff Bingaman every day until the vote.  It looks like the vote will be next Tuesday or Wednesday.  So you can make calls Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday.

You must bury Senators Harkin and Bingamans office with calls, faxes and e-mails.

Senator Tom Harkin – Phone (202) 224-3254 or use the Switchboard number.  FAX: (202) 224-9369.  E-mail:  tom_harkin@harkin.senate.gov

Senator Jeff Bingaman – Phone (202) 224-5521 – FAX:  (202) 224-2852 – E-mail: senator_bingaman@bingaman.senate.gov

Some Senators E-mail addresses have changed.  It is possible to access your Senators' web pages to find fax numbers, email addresses and snail mail addresses at:


Call your Friends.

Call your Neighbors.

This is your chance to really make a difference. 

Congress has worked hard on this important legislation that would help better protect our federal and private forestlands from the effects of catastrophic fires that destroy water, wildlife habitat, and fill our air with smoke.  Don't let this bill be killed by an inside effort of a few Senators who don't want it to pass.

Call your Senators today (Thursday)  and again Friday, Monday and Tuesday.  Tell them that any delay in passing the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HR 1904) means more fiddling while our forests burn.

Background--Congressional Quarterly Article—October 21

A Pair of Democratic 'Holds' Is Blocking Senate Action On Compromise Forest Bill.

Two Democrats have blocked debate on forest-thinning legislation scheduled for Senate floor action this week, provoking protests from Republicans who worked to reach a bipartisan compromise.

Tom Harkin of Iowa and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico notified GOP leaders that they will not grant the unanimous consent necessary to take up the measure (HR 1904), which would relax environmental restrictions and speed judicial reviews of legal challenges to the thinning of 20 million acres of fire-prone federal land.

Aides to Harkin and Bingaman said the senators want more time to review the compromise version of the bill, which is based on President Bush's "Healthy Forests" proposal. Harkin is the ranking Democrat on the Agriculture Committee; Bingaman is the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

The compromise, brokered by a bipartisan group of senators, would be offered as a substitute to the bill approved by the Agriculture Committee on July 24. The House passed its version of the legislation May 20. 

A Harkin aide said the senator has substantive concerns about the bill and would like to receive further information about the legislation from the administration.

Bill Wicker, spokesman for Bingaman, said the senator has reviewed the text of the compromise but would like to review the details in a public forum.

"We haven't had a hearing on this compromise, and there is a lot of text there," he said. "We don't understand all that text. You can read the text, but you can't ask the text questions." 

Larry E. Craig, R-Idaho, angrily objected that the delays invoked by "a select few" unfairly blocked consideration of a bill that was a "totally bipartisan" proposal, put together over a period of months by senators from both parties.

Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has endorsed the compromise, as has Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. 

Eight other Democrats have signaled support for the legislation.

The Senate compromise incorporates many parts of the House bill, which would relax environmental restrictions and speed judicial reviews of legal challenges to the thinning of fire-prone federal land.

Some environmental groups oppose both versions of the bill, saying they would benefit timber companies. But Senate Democrats involved in the negotiations attempted to appease the critics, and the compromise would add language to protect older, larger trees.

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