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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.
December 23, 2003 | Charles Duhigg
The U.S. Forest Service has abandoned a controversial proposal to ignore mass e-mails and other mailings from the public commenting on its pending rules and regulations. The plan, part of a proposed rule change by the Bush administration, received widespread criticism from environmentalists and public advocacy groups. "We saw the error of our ways," said the U.S. Forest Service's Jody Sutton. "We want everyone's comments."
November 21, 2003 | Bettina Boxall, Times Staff Writer
Wide-ranging criticism of a proposal to roll back wildlife and forest protections in the Sierra Nevada has caused the U.S. Forest Service to delay adoption of the changes, which would alter an environmental management plan for the state's most prominent mountain range. A number of experts, including Forest Service scientists, have faulted the proposal on a variety of counts, saying that the agency has failed to provide a sound scientific justification to weaken the protections.
November 4, 2003
Throughout his long career as Public Relations Bear for the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies, Smokey has measured his success by how well he keeps people from burning wild lands. This is not his best year.
September 9, 2003 | Bettina Boxall, Times Staff Writer
A top California environmental official complained Monday that the Bush administration insists on having its own way in its forest policies and ignores state input on management of the Sierra Nevada. "They have this cowboy mentality -- just leave us alone to manage the forests the way we want to," said Mary Nichols, secretary of the California Resources Agency. "And that winds up with more lawsuits and more risks.... It's a policy that is destined to fail."
July 1, 2003 | From Associated Press
The U.S. Forest Service is considering a plan to let private contractors compete for more than 10,000 jobs to meet Bush administration goals to encourage competition for federal work. At least 20,000 of the agency's 40,000 employees perform tasks that duplicate work done in the private sector, such as computer operations, data collection and maintenance, the agency says in a draft memo.
June 19, 2003 | Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
Nearly seven decades ago, Charles Krause settled into a cliff-top cabin overlooking a trout stream in a swath of forested canyon land he had purchased just north of Lake Arrowhead. Today, the 91-year-old retired stock trader wants to sell the property to the U.S. Forest Service so "everyone can enjoy it as I have all these years." The agency wants to buy it.
December 19, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
Heavy rains have prompted U.S. Forest Service officials to close two mountain roads north of Ojai that lead to several popular campgrounds, hiking trails and a target shooting area. Reyes Peak and Cherry Creek roads are closed to vehicles until spring, said Joe Pasinato, a spokesman for Los Padres National Forest..
September 30, 2002
The U.S. Forest Service responded slowly to build fire breaks and save homes from a wildfire that later grew into the largest in Arizona history, local officials told members of Congress. But a Forest Service official defended the agency's handling of the blaze, saying that given its size and intensity, there was often nothing to be done but get out of the way. The wildfire near Show Low destroyed 467 homes and burned 732 square miles before it was stopped in July.
At a time when national fire policy is emphasizing the importance of reducing the threat of wild fires to nearby communities, the U.S. Forest Service in California is spending the biggest chunks of its fire prevention funds in some of the least populated parts of the state. Nowhere is that pattern more starkly reflected than in the Angeles National Forest. Backdrop, playground and watershed for millions living in the Los Angeles Basin, the forest ranks at the bottom of the funding ladder.
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