The following is a statement from Ms. Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, on the Passage of Amendment Number 136 to the FY 2020 Interior Appropriations Bill:
Tonight, Congress approved an Amendment offered to the Department of Interior Appropriations Bill to prohibit taxpayer funding for roadbuilding in Alaska’s Tongass, the nation’s largest national forest.
We are pleased to see Members of Congress working to address the nearly half a billion dollars taxpayers have lost to money losing timber sales in the Tongass national forest. Taxpayers cover the costs of expensive roads used only by the timber industry and we commend Reps. Blumenauer and Gallego for addressing this important issue in the Interior Appropriations bill.
The Tongass National Forest has more than 4,000 miles of roads which are almost exclusively used by the timber industry for logging purposes. Taxpayers are paying for roads they cannot use in order to shield timber companies from the true cost of doing business. New Tongass roads saddle taxpayers with additional construction and maintenance costs and add to the Forest Service’s existing $3 billion backlog.
We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to reform the broken timber program.
– Ryan Alexander, president