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Forest Service U S

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.
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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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
NEWS
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2003 | Jenifer Ragland, Times Staff Writer
The dirt, the bugs, the whole sleeping outside thing -- it was all new to Ventura resident Janet Ortega. In all her 37 years, she had never been camping. And although it was something her 7-year-old son had begged her to do, she really didn't know where to begin. Where to go? How to set up a tent? What to eat?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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."
BUSINESS
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.
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