The U.S. Forest Service plans to spend $50 million dollars annually to thin Sierra Nevada forests.
The new plan will triple the amount of logging that would have been allowed under a Clinton-era plan. Regional Forester Jack Blackwell says the revised plan is needed to prevent devastating wildfires like those that swept Southern California last fall. Even before the plan is fully underway, the service over the next year will remove two million tons of burnable material and thin 42,000-acres around vulnerable mountain communities.
Republican congressman George Radanovich said in a written statement on the new forest service plan, the “modification will provide for more efficient forest management and important fuels reduction.”
The Forest Service currently spends about $30 million annually on Sierra logging projects. But that includes non-project costs like planning and defending lawsuits.