Clinton plans summit on saving ancient forests

December 22, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service

WASHINGTON — ...TC WASHINGTON -- President-elect Bill Clinton's administration is planning a summit on ancient forests in the United States, but no schedule has been set, according to a Clinton aide and environmental and timber industry officials.

Lisa Glantz of the National Audubon Society, and Barry Polsky, spokesman for the American Forest Resource Alliance, a timber industry group, said their organizations want to attend.

The summit will be an effort to resolve a long-standing dispute between environmentalists, who want to protect old-growth forests and endangered species, and the timber industry, Ms. Glantz and Mr. Polsky said.

The summit will be chaired by Vice President-elect Al Gore, an advocate of environmental causes. A Clinton aide yesterday said the summit has not yet been scheduled.

For years, environmentalists have urged that logging be prohibited in the few remaining old-growth forests to save threatened species, such as the northern spotted owl.

When asked if a summit could solve the problem that has deeply divided parts of the nation for years, Mr. Polsky said: "I hope so -- there's nothing else going on that will solve it."

Congress over the last two years has considered legislation to set aside huge tracts of forest in the Pacific Northwest and aid displaced timber workers, but none has passed.

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