U.S. House Passes Bill To Sharply Increase National Forest Logging

September 20, 2013

The U.S. House of Representatives has given a green light to a bill that would sharply increase logging in the national forests.

Supporters of the measure, like Republican co-sponsor Paul Gosar of Arizona, say it will create jobs in rural communities, especially in the West. 

The measure is also being touted as helping to reduce wildfires and add hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from additional timber sales.

Opponents, like Noah Matson of the Defenders of Wildlife, maintain the measure will likely increase the clear-cutting of timber which is what prompted limits on logging 20 years ago, because of its impact on the environment and wildlife.

"There’s no way to achieve the level of cut that they’re proposing, and there’s a reason that most of them waive, in some form, environmental laws to achieve their timber-cut objectives," Matson said. "So, as shocking as it is to the public, the end result of these proposals would be increased clear-cuts."

The White House is threatening to veto the bill, saying it would jeopardize habitat for endangered species, increase lawsuits and limit the president’s ability to create national monuments.

The measure is expected to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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