Washington, DC — A bill that would speed up the harvesting of wood burned in the Rim Fire has passed through the House of Representatives.
District Four Congressman Tom McClintock reports that his proposal was included as part of a larger bill, the HR 2954 Public Access and Lands Improvement Act. McClintock claimes, “This measure means jobs for hundreds of lumberjacks, mill workers, truckers, and all those who support them.” The legislation now moves to the Senate where it is expected to meet a stiff challenge.
McClintock says the legislation would have the following impacts:
-Authorize the Forest Service to select acreage for salvage where there is no wilderness designation, ESA, historic or legal restrictions.
-Authorize the Forest Service to implement the draft EIS that is expected to be completed by April and deems the draft as compliant with all applicable environmental reviews. This would allow salvaging to begin in April, rather than the current timetable that would allow for harvesting around Fall.
-It would limit the threat of lawsuits. It allows for judicial review of the final EIS based on ecological impacts, but bans lawsuits based on process, and it bars temporary restraining orders.
-It approves the Forest Service to use the money raised by the salvage for forest restoration.