March 15, 2005

Crapo: Watersheds, People Canâ??tAfford Delays In Forest Health Bill

Senate floor speech says politics being put over bipartisanship

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo took to the Senate floor today urging his counterparts to agree to conference the recently-passed Healthy Forests Act with U.S. House members who have now set their conferees to settle the matter. While House conferees may have concerns about protections for old growth timber built into the Senateâ??s compromise, Crapo said the 80-14 vote shows overwhelming bipartisan support that should allow a conference bill to be passed quickly. â??Nearly 3.8 million acres in America have burned this year. Last year it was around 7 million acres,â?? Crapo said during a speech on the Senate floor. â??The fires in California alone cost an estimated $65 million so far just to fight them. And, 1,622 structures have been lost. There were lives lost both in California and in my home state of Idaho this year. We need to act.â??Crapo added, â??This is a critical issue. It is critical whether one is concerned about environmental aspects; whether one is concerned about health and safety aspects, loss of life, loss of property, or simply the loss of our incredibly wonderful federal forests. I call on my colleagues in the Senate to stop the procedural maneuvers that are prohibiting us from proceeding to conference with the House on this landmark legislation.â??A satellite feed of Crapoâ??s remarks on the forest health legislation is available:1:45-2:15 p.m. Mountain Time/ 12:45-1:45 p.m. PacificGalaxy 3 (C-Band), Transponder 7 HorizontalDownlink Frequency 3840, Standard Audio# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. If you encounter any difficulties with the system, please contact Susan Wheeler at the above number. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://crapo.senate.gov or www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.