Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Bill Opens Fed Land to Logging.

Byline: Jennifer McKee Journal Staff Writer

U.S. Forests Called Public Safety Threat

New Mexico counties would be able to take control of and authorize logging of federal lands in the state if a bill kicking around the state Senate becomes law.

State Sen. Timothy Jennings, D-Roswell, the Democratic majority floor leader and one of the legislators who introduced the bill, said the United States Forest Service has clearly done a lousy job maintaining national forests in New Mexico. He cited the huge Cerro Grande and Scott Able fires of last summer.

The situation is so bad, Jennings said, federal forests now constitute a public safety threat and the state needs to step in and do something specifically, log the thousands of acres burned last summer and thin out remaining overgrown forests. …

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