Here's why: the jobs in Tester's jobs bill do NOT hinge on the legislation actually opening up lands that are otherwise closed today for logging. Although maps and other "PR" try to make it seem otherwise, the legislation is very clear on this point. Any logging or forest health jobs resulting from this bill are already permitted today, either via an existing Forest Plan or via legislation already passed into law.
The essence of Tester's bill is an attempt to force the Forest Service to follow through with existing plans that allow logging, and also attempts to limit environmental groups' ability to challenge them.
It is no longer a joke to say it takes an act of Congress to cut timber in Montana.
I don't know if I could have created a better example of how gridlocked the agency is in management, or how these "environmental" groups sue at the drop of a hat. That it requires legislation to log a paltry 70 thousand acres over 10 years is a sad indication of how broken our system of public lands management is.
Read more of Forest Jobs and Recreation Act - A Teachable Wilderness Bill from the BlueRibbon Coalition
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