California timber organization Quincy Library Group considers shutting down after national forest thinning bill stalls in US Congress; thinning program accomplished only 40% of its volume goals

LOS ANGELES , January 4, 2012 () – The Quincy Library Group, a California-based organization founded in 1992, is considering disbanding, the Capital Press reported Dec. 28.

The group’s efforts led to a 1998 congressional bill that funded thinning projects in three national forests for a period of five years. Congress continually extended the measure until this year, when it was delayed by legal challenges from environmental groups and a national housing slump.

While the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to extend the bill, the measure was delayed in the U.S. Senate, said Quincy Library Group member and former Plumas County supervisor Bill Coates. According to a report by the Feather River Bulletin, both U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Rep.-elect Doug LaMalfa (R-California) have told group members of their continued support for the thinning project.

The thinning program met approximately 40% of its volume goals.

The Quincy Library Group also claims some responsibility for the 2010 restart of Sierra Pacific Industries’ small log mill in Quincy, California. The mill, which employs 325 workers, was shuttered in 2009 after a judge ruled against environmentalists who had sought to block many of the U.S. Forest Service's local timber sales. The mill is reliant upon timber supplied via the 1998 congressional bill.

Coates said there was still work for the group to do, stressing that stewardship contracts, which direct proceeds from timber contracts into forest replenishment programs, are gaining momentum.

University of California Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor Mike De Lasaux said some members are considering leaving the group. He noted many of them felt it was time to stop and leave the fight for “another generation.”

The primary source of this article is the Capital Press, Salem, Oregon, Dec. 28, 2012.

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