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Investigation Wanted On Forest Service PR

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Two congressmen are asking for an investigation of whether the U.S. Forest Service illegally hired a public relations firm to promote its plan to triple logging in 11 million acres of Sierra Nevada national forests.

The ranking Democrats on two House committees say the contract appears to violate a federal law barring hiring public relations firms without congressional approval.

They´re asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General to investigate.

The chief of the Forest Service´s California region is defending the $90,000 contract. He says the law is to prevent federal agencies from “self-aggrandizing” — while the Sierra campaign promotes wildfire prevention.