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New Wildfire Bill Eases Restrictions In National Forests

Sonora, CA – Citing help in reducing devastating and costly wildfires, a new measure would make it easier to cut down trees on federal lands.

The House is expected to vote next week on the GOP bill authored by Arkansas congressman Bruce Westerman. Specifically it would loosen environmental regulations for forest-thinning projects on federal lands by waiving environmental reviews for projects up to 30,000 acres for areas prone to insect infestations, disease or extreme wildfire risk.

The legislation comes in the wake of one of the nation’s worst fire seasons with the Forest Service spending a record $2.4 billion battling forest fires across the West.

California Congressman and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy champions the bill stating that it makes needed changes “to keep our forests healthy and less susceptible to the types of fires that ravaged our state this month.” He is referring to the deadly Northern California Wildfires that took 42 lives and ravaged the state’s wine country burning 8,400 structures and damages hitting over a billion dollars.