SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8022
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1998 Regular Session
By Senators Rossi, Benton, Oke, Jacobsen, Prentice, T. Sheldon, Finkbeiner, Hochstatter and Stevens
Read first time 01/22/98. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources & Parks.
TO THE HONORABLE WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The citizens of Washington State place great value upon their natural heritage and desire to protect and enhance it; and
WHEREAS, The growing population of Washington State is placing growing demands on the state's natural resources available for recreation; and
WHEREAS, Because of this growing demand and its attendant impacts on the environment, the federal government is considering restrictions on public access to popular recreation sites in Washington's central Cascade Mountains; and
WHEREAS, Plum Creek Timber Company, L.P. presently owns numerous sites near the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area which are of surpassing recreational and environmental value; and
WHEREAS, Such lands are located in a "checkerboard" pattern of alternating sections, a configuration that presents both private and public land managers with difficulties in meeting their respective objectives; and
WHEREAS, Both sectors have stated a willingness to exchange lands to accommodate mutual interests; and
WHEREAS, The federal government and Plum Creek Timber Company are completing an environmental impact statement for an exchange of private and public lands in the Cascade Mountains; and
WHEREAS, This process has involved extensive public participation; and
WHEREAS, This exchange complements the President's Forest Plan; and
WHEREAS, This exchange, if completed as currently proposed, would transfer into public ownership up to 60,000 acres of private land while transferring into private ownership up to 40,000 acres of public land; and
WHEREAS, The United States Forest Service and Plum Creek Timber Company L.P., have worked toward this land exchange for over a decade, expending more than two million dollars in environmental studies and land analysis; and
WHEREAS, Time is of the essence because the longer it takes to complete the exchange, the less private land will be precluded from harvest activities; and
WHEREAS, Absent an act of Congress to complete the exchange, litigation and procedural delays will very likely reduce the potential public benefits of this exchange;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the United States Government promptly complete the proposed Interstate 90 land exchange, thus securing the greatest possible environmental, recreational, and land-management benefits at the earliest possible time.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable William J. Clinton, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the United States Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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