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NATIONAL
September 30, 2004 | Bettina Boxall, Times Staff Writer
Under a temporary rule issued Wednesday by the Bush administration, national forest managers won't have to adhere to strict wildlife protections that have been in place for more than two decades. The rule is not the last word on the protections, which since 1982 have directed the U.S. Forest Service to manage national forests to maintain "viable populations" of fish and wildlife. Officials could not say when a final regulation would be published.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2004 | Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer
Overriding the opposition of the U.S. Forest Service and New Mexico state officials, a White House energy task force has interceded on behalf of Houston-based El Paso Corp. in its two-year effort to explore for natural gas in a remote part of a national forest next door to America's largest Boy Scout camp.
NATIONAL
July 9, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Forest Service signed off on a plan to log timber burned in the huge Biscuit fire, an effort that has become the focus of intense political and scientific debate over fire and logging. Environmentalists are expected to challenge parts of the plan, which is also opposed by timber officials, who said it didn't go far enough to prevent future wildfires and replant forests. The plan calls for harvesting 370 million board feet of timber in southwestern Oregon over the next two years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2004 | Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer
In an effort to limit backcountry damage, U.S. Forest Service officials on Wednesday announced plans to specify which roads and trails are open to off-highway vehicles in the state's 18 national forests. The mapping by California foresters is part of a nationwide effort that officials said would help local foresters better manage the growth in off-road vehicle use and establish a more consistent national policy.
NATIONAL
June 2, 2004 | Bettina Boxall, Times Staff Writer
Almost two years after President Bush stood in the ashes of one of the largest wildfires in Oregon history, the U.S. Forest Service is moving ahead with an ambitious plan to log fire-killed trees on the burned-over land. In documents released Tuesday, federal forest officials outlined a proposal to cut enough dead trees to fill more than 74,000 logging trucks. Much of the wood would come from road-less backcountry areas and stands of old growth.
NATIONAL
May 19, 2004 | From a Times Staff Writer
The Federal Aviation Administration agreed Tuesday to help set up a special safety inspection program for 33 grounded aerial tankers contracted by the Forest Service for firefighting, lawmakers said. Separately, the Bush administration said it would revise a 30-year-old policy to make it easier for the Forest Service to use military planes for firefighting missions.
NATIONAL
May 16, 2004 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
The federal government may have about 30% fewer firefighters for this year's Western wildfire season than it did last year, according to lawmakers -- setting the stage for what could be an election-year debacle on the fire lines. "All indications suggest that this will be an extremely challenging fire season, and we cannot afford to allow our federal firefighter capability to fall so far below last year's level," Reps. Charles H. Taylor (R-N.C.) and Norman D. Dicks (D-Wash.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Forest Service has traditionally recruited most of its California wild-land firefighters near the scene of fires and national forests: in mountain communities nestled in the Sierra Nevada and other ranges. As one result, it wound up with a firefighting force that is 80% white. This year, the service is shifting its recruiting effort to more ethnically diverse areas in an attempt to broaden the makeup of its firefighting crews.
NEWS
April 6, 2004 | Christopher Reynolds
AS of May 28 -- Memorial Day weekend -- the U.S. Forest Service will stop charging people who want to park their cars and hike, picnic or otherwise use parts of three Southern California national forests.
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