Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Senate OKs Tree-Thinning.(Legislature)

Byline: S.U. Mahesh Journal Capitol Bureau

Forest Work May Challenge Feds

SANTA FE Despite a potential constitutional challenge, the Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would authorize New Mexico counties to thin overgrown national forests.

"This bill is not a confrontation with the federal government. It brings necessary accountability," Sen. Manny Aragon, D-Albuquerque, said on the Senate floor.

The measure, co-sponsored by Aragon and Sen. Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, would declare a state of disaster in certain national forests to allow logging of overgrowth and removal of dead wood.

The bill particularly targets those national forests that either burned in last year's wildfires or pose a potential fire danger to bordering communities. …

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