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Barrasso Defends His Forestry Bill

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Wyoming’s US Senator John Barrasso is sponsoring a bill he says will improve the health of the national forests by increasing logging operations over the next 15 years.  The bill would streamline the process for timber sales.  Barrasso told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that the primary purpose of the bill is to solve the forest health and rural community crisis due to related job-loss. Barrasso told the committee “We’ve discussed the increasing severity of wildland fire, and the escalating costs of suppression”  Barrasso goes on,  “ We’ve talked about how increased soil erosion, loss of wildlife habitat and species, and economic opportunities are the result of this.”  Barrasso told the group that overall, timber harvest is a good thing to help our forests and communities get healthy again. 279,400 acres of land in the Bridger-Teton National Forest was identified as suitable for timber production, and Barrasso’s bill would allow a maximum of 69,850 acres to be cut over 15 years. Bridger-Teton, at 3.4 million acres, is the state’s largest national forest.

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