Saturday, April 12, 2008

Firefighting consumes US Forest Service budget

Deseret Morning News: Fighting the wildfires has become a huge drain on the U.S. Forest Service's resources, and two pending House bills propose a way to fix it. House Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, each have bills to create a federal fund specifically for fighting emergency wildfires, separate from money normally set aside for firefighting activities.

"Our Forest Service is turning into the fire service, to the detriment of the rest of its mission," Rahall said at a House Resource Committee hearing on the bills Thursday. "For the past several years, we have witnessed tragic fire seasons that have put American lives and our treasured public lands in harm's way. Fire seasons are getting long and more intense due to climate change, drought and other factors."...

Angora forest Fire near Lake Tahoe, 2007, photo by "," Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation license

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