Washington, D.C. — One area congressman has introduced a bill to do just that. Local Republican Congressman Tom McClintock has introduced HR 3188, the Yosemite Rim Fire Emergency Salvage Act. The measure calls for the expedited salvage of fire-killed timber in the Stanislaus National Forest and the Yosemite National Park by waiving environmental regulations and litigation. McClintock says it is estimated that up to one billion board feet of timber could be salvaged if it can be processed in the next 18 months. Last week, a McClintock amendment dealing with this issue was attached to the Restoring Healthy Forests Act. Both passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The Yosemite Rim Fire is a tragedy that has destroyed 400 square miles of our forests. If any good can come of this tragedy, it would be the timely salvage of fire-killed timber that could provide employment to local mills and desperately needed economic activity to mountain communities. Moreover, revenues from the sale of salvage rights could be used to restore our ravaged forests and provide recovery assistance to cash-strapped local communities,” McClintock said. “But this can’t happen if salvage is indefinitely delayed by bureaucratic processes or the usual litigation filed by extremist environmental groups.”
H.R 3188 has been co-sponsored by House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Washington); Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), and Sierra Nevada-area Representatives Doug LaMalfa, Jeff Denham, Paul Cook, Devin Nunes, David Valadao and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
The bill is scheduled for hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, October 3.