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Lummis Accuses Forest of Secrecy

Lummis

Wyoming’s US Representative Cynthia Lummis says she finds it very concerning that a proposal to merge essentially four national forests under singular supervision is being made without the knowledge of the area’s federal lawmakers.  Lummis told Jackson Hole Radio News that she has only learned what little she knows about the plan through media reports. She said she spoke to Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho this week and asked if he knew anything about it.  Simpson also serves as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment which also addresses National Forest Service Issues.  Lummis says Simpson told her he had heard nothing about the proposal.  Lummis says it disturbs her that the discussions seem to be taking place in a surreptitious manner.  Lummis says while agencies should be looking at ways to economize in their operations, there are other considerations that should be made in this case.  If the Forest Service is going to study the possibility of merging these units, Lummis says they should consider other possible options including allowing the allowing the State of Wyoming to manage the forest within its borders, and the State of Idaho to manage the forest within its borders. Lummis says the states have been working with the forests and are very familiar with their specific issues.  She also says the Congressional Delegation and the Governor want to see public involvement sooner rather than later so that all parties can understand what the options are that they are trying to accomplish, and how they believe they can accomplish cost-savings without compromising the mission of our national forests.

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