Thursday, April 18, 2013

Governors want public to take more responsibility for protecting federal forests in West

The Western Governors Association wants the public to take more responsibility for maintaining federal forests damaged by pests and wildfires, and asked the U.S. Forest Service to expand public-private partnerships to lessen the government's role in protecting and caring for the land, while searching for ways for the public to pitch in, Jim Malewitz reports for Stateline.

WGA comprises governors from Texas to the Dakotas and westward. The group says the Forest Service only used 30 percent of its 2010 budget for forest management, down from 70 percent 30 years ago, Malewitz writes. One suggestion for help from the public is to ask loggers to remove dead branches and trees that might catch fire. The governors also want state-by-state specifics on how the agency plans to meet its benchmarks. (Read more)

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