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Nation in Brief / UTAH

Fires' heavy toll on forestry budget

September 23, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

The retiring chief of the U.S. Forest Service's Intermountain Region says the days of unrestricted cross-country travel on public lands are quickly coming to an end.

Jack Troyer, who steps down next month, has managed 32 million acres of national forests and grasslands in Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, California and Colorado for the last five years.

Troyer said half of his budget was being consumed by controlling wildfires, up from 13% in 1991. His hope is to one day see forest debris, which fuels wildfires, harvested for use in creating ethanol for transportation fuel.

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