Resilient Federal Forests Act
The measure, called the Resilient Federal Forests Act would increase timber harvests and relax some key environmental rules. It also seeks to relieve the U.S. Forest Service from being forced to use its fire prevention budget to pay for the rapidly escalating costs of combating wild-land fires.
House Agriculture Committee Vice Chair Glenn Thompson said this is a good step forward.
"Our nation's forests are becoming increasingly overgrown with hazardous fuel due to a lack of active management. The Resilient Federal Forests Act is a vital piece of legislation for the Forest Service allowing for more authority and flexibility for forest management."
Opponents said the bill gives too much away to the timber industry. They argue the problem isn't burdensome environmental restrictions but rather that Congress has not put up the money to do the forest management work.
Colorado's Republican representatives supported the bill, Democrats opposed it. The companion bill now goes to the Senate.