Limiting federal subsidies for building logging roads through public forests is part of an agreement brokered by House Republican leaders.
Under the deal between pro-environment moderates and legislators from timber-producing states, Congress this year would terminate the program under which the Forest Service reimburses logging companies for road-building costs. The Forest Service gives the companies credits which, in effect, lower the price they pay the government for the timber.In exchange, the moderates have agreed not to propose limiting other federal timber programs this year, such as trying to reduce maintenance of existing roads. Also, pro-logging legislators say they will not try to increase logging efforts on public lands, such as attempting to lift a Clinton administration moratorium already in place on some new roads.
The agreement among Republicans does not prevent Democrats from forcing votes on pro-environment timber issues. But it makes it far less likely that such efforts will pass the House, since it makes a coalition unlikely between minority Democrats and the 30 to 40 moderate Republicans.
The Clinton administration supports ending the credits for road construction.