Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Sen. Domenici Questions Tree Burning.

Byline: Jennifer McKee Journal Staff Writer

Officials: Timber Sale Not Feasible

Sen. Pete Domenici this week questioned why officials are planning to burn, rather than sell, the estimated 7 million spindly trees destined for removal from the Santa Fe watershed trees that local timber industry and watershed management folks say have little commercial value.

Domenici, R-N.M., a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land Management, brought up the watershed Thursday at a subcommittee hearing on oversight of the National Fire Plan in Washington, D.C. The plan, which Congress funded to the tune of $2.9 billion this year, is designed to clean up overgrown forests and cut down the threat of wildfires.

The gist of Domenici's concerns is that the fire plan intended not only to clean up overgrown, tinder-dry forests but to "shift away from the failed policies that deprived our lands and people of activities that would help keep the forest healthy and promote local jobs," Domenici said at the hearing. …

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