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Spotted Owl Dispute Prompts Review of Public Lands Policy

<i> From Associated Press</i>

The Bush Administration, in response to the growing conflict over spotted owls and national forest management, plans a broad review of its public lands policy, a congressman said Wednesday.

However, Agriculture Secretary Clayton K. Yeutter told Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) this week that the Administration remains convinced that Northwest lawmakers have overestimated job losses anticipated as a result of owl protection measures.

“You have suggested the job losses will be in the range of 50,000, but our estimates are not of this magnitude. We see the maximum at perhaps 18,000,” Yeutter said in a letter to Wyden.

Jim Moseley, assistant agriculture secretary for natural resources and environment, told Wyden aide Steve Jenning that the “comprehensive reassessment” of public lands policy will last at least a year, Jenning said Wednesday.

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A key component of the review will focus on economic dislocation of workers in Northwest logging communities as timber harvests decline, said Jenning, who is staff director of the House Small Business subcommittee that Wyden chairs.


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