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Barrasso bill would mandate more logging on federal land

Barrasso bill would mandate more logging on federal land

Feb 6, 2014 - The Associated Press

JACKSON -- Sen. John Barrasso is sponsoring a bill to more than double the amount of logging on U.S. Forest Service land.

The bill, up for a hearing in Washington Thursday, would require the Forest Service to develop logging projects on 7.5 million acres over 15 years across the country. That's about 500,000 acres a year.

Barrasso's spokeswoman, Laura Mengelkamp, said about 200,000 acres is logged each year currently.

The bill also aims to prevent delays by requiring objections to logging projects to be handled through arbitration rather than the federal courts.

Former Bridger-Teton National Forest supervisor Kniffy Hamilton says mandating that the Forest Service increase logging would likely funnel resources away from other forest uses, like backcountry camping and hiking and hunting.

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