The head of the U-S Forest Service Thursday approved a sweeping plan to manage more than 11 million acres of Sierra Nevada national forests.
The decision renews debate over preventing devastating wildfires of the sort that swept Southern California a year ago.
Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth rejected appeals by environmental groups — prompting immediate promises of lawsuits.
Regional Forester Jack Blackwell says the plan will improve wildlife habitat while reducing fire danger particularly around mountain communities.
Environmental critics call it a veiled effort to triple logging across 11 national forests.
But a timber industry leader says it doesn´t go far enough to thin fire-prone forests.
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Read about the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan at