Gianforte calls for lawsuit reform while touring Beaverhead-Deerlodge timber work

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DEER LODGE — Blocking frivolous lawsuits and boosting emergency spending on wildfires would help restore Montana’s forests to better health, Rep. Greg Gianforte said while touring clearcuts in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on Monday. “Healthier forests give more habitat for wildlife, increased sporting opportunities, they’re good for our economy, they create jobs, and they reduce the intensity and catastrophic nature of fires,” Gianforte said. “Everybody wins.” …At a roundtable discussion of the legislation …Montana Wood Products Association Director Julia Altemus told the congressmen that litigation was the main threat to timber supply. “In (Forest Service) Region 1, it’s really what hampers our ability to get into the forests,” Altemus said. That has forced the agency to spend nearly 60 percent of its time designing forest projects on “bullet-proofing” its defense on National Environmental Policy Act challenges, compared to just 20 percent in past years.

Read More