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Sierra Nevada Framework Could Change

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A Sierra Nevada plan once praised for its protection of the remaining old growth forest may be revised to allow the cutting of more larger trees to help pay for fire suppression. Environmental groups already are threatening to sue if the U-S Forest Service accepts the changes to the Sierra Nevada Framework. The forest service says the findings are only preliminary.

The draft would allow cutting trees up to 30 inches in diameter across the Sierra┬┤s 11 million acres of national forests; thinning the forest canopy beyond current guidelines; and allowing what would amount to one to two-acre near-clear cuts. Mechanical and commercial thinning would replace the prescribed fires favored in the original framework.