Lemhi County Citizen Journalism

Our national forests are at risk from beetles, wildfire — and the U.S. Congress. While forests have evolved with fire and insects, it’s not clear they’ll survive attacks from misguided politicians.

One thing about busy fire seasons is we all breathe the smoke. It’s unhealthy and miserable. But we shouldn’t let it blind us. And politicians shouldn’t use it as an excuse to sell snake oil.

We know that fire is a fact of life in Idaho. When it’s hot and dry, forests burn. It doesn’t mean we should walk away. But it also doesn’t mean we should undermine protections for clean water, wildlife and public involvement.


One measure, H.R. 2936 co-sponsored by Rep. Labrador, would reduce public involvement in projects up to 30,000 acres, would eliminate any public involvement when long-term forest management plans are developed, would interfere with citizens’ rights to petition their government, and would eliminate protections for endangered species. The bill would also abolish protections for Idaho roadless areas, established under the leadership of Sen. Jim Risch, which enjoy the support of Gov. Btuch Otter, Sen. Mike Crapo, Rep. Mike Simpson and the Idaho Legislature.

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