House Republicans Seek To Open Up National Forests To Mining, Logging

"Weeks after an anti-government militia’s takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge, legislators are presenting bills to loosen federal authority over public land".

"Congress is to consider two bills that would allow states to hand over vast tracts of federal land for mining, logging or other commercial activities – just weeks after the arrest of an armed militia that took over a wildlife refuge in Oregon in protest at federal oversight of public land.

The legislation, which will be presented to the House committee on natural resources on Thursday, would loosen federal authority over parts of the 600m acres (240m hectares), nearly one-third of the land mass of the US, it administers.

A bill put forward by Republican Don Young would allow any state to assume control of up to 2m acres of the national forest system to be “managed primarily for timber production” in order to address what Young claims is a decline in national logging rates."

Oliver Milman reports for the Guardian February 24, 2016.

Source: Guardian, 02/25/2016