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Feds: Forest Service PR Contract Legal

Federal officials have ruled the Forest Service´s 90-thousand-dollar contract with a public relations firm to promote a tripling of Sierra Nevada logging did not violate a

prohibition on such hiring.

The decisions did not convince two congressmen who had called for the probe, with the House Resources Committee´s ranking Democrat criticizing the “convoluted” opinion.

The Forest Service is using OneWorld Communications´s “Forests with a Future” campaign to promote increased logging as necessary to avoid catastrophic wildfires of the sort experienced in Southern California last fall.

Officials ruled that is a legitimate activity, though environmental groups contend the plan increases logging and limits wildlife protections under the guise of preventing forest fires.