House approves forest bill, but support is minimal

By Katy Sword
The Columbian
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

R-Jaime Herrera Beutler (right)

There’s an internal congressional battle for wildfire management reform. The long-standing battle progressed Wednesday as the U.S. House approved the Resilient Federal Forests Act with a vote of 232 to 188. The bill expands access to logging and exempts 30,000 acres of annual forest land activity from environmental review, refers federal Endangered Species Act lawsuits to an arbitrator in lieu of a courtroom and allows the U.S. Forest Service to use disaster funding to fight fires if earmarked funding runs out. Local lawmakers agree: Something needs to be done to fix wildfire funding. But support for the Resilient Federal Forests Act is minimal. The White House doesn’t support the bill as is, according to a statement released Wednesday.

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