House turns down farm bill

    Washington, DC (KINY) Congressman Don Young (R) had gotten an exemption for Alaska timber in the proposed bill.

    The exemption from the roadless rule limits logging in the Tongass National Forest.  Another provision would allow Alaska Native populations to use donations of traditional food sources in subsistence as part of public assistance foods.

    The roadless rule exemption passed 208-207.  The entire bill failed 198-213 but could be revisited next week.

    The deadline for an update on the farm bill is the end of September.   Congressman Young argued that the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act protects 96 percent of the Tongass National Forest and 99 percent of the Chugach National Forest from logging and development.

    Young told colleagues on the house floor that the exemption from the roadless rule will ensure that the timber industry in Southeast Alaska can survive.

    Young also sponsored an amendment that passed by a voice vote: a repeat of a provision that passed in the 2014 farm bill allowing for subsistence donations for food assistance programs for rural Native Alaskans.

    Food assistance, rather than agricultural subsidies, were one of the major sticking points of the bill that kept most Democrats and about a dozen moderate Republicans from voting in favor of the bill.

     

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