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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 1, 2003 | Janet Wilson, Times Staff Writer
Racing to protect a reservoir that is a key link in Southern California's water supply, federal helicopter teams are dropping straw by the ton on slopes severely burned in October's catastrophic wildfires around Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. Officials want to stabilize the slopes before heavy winter rains, which could trigger large-scale erosion of ash, silt and potentially toxic compounds into the lake.
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.
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