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Groups blast Trump logging plan aimed at reducing wildfires

Western Wildfires
Posted at 1:20 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 15:20:58-05

BOISE, Idaho — Conservation groups are blasting a Trump administration decision officials say will reduce wildfires by streamlining environmental reviews of timber salvage projects.

WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project and seven other groups say the rules approved Thursday fast-track projects to benefit logging, grazing and mining while eliminating public comments. The new rules also speed the cutting down of pinyon-juniper woodlands in the U.S. West.

The Trump administration says the streamlined reviews on land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will reduce wildfire threats while increasing job opportunities. The administration also says the new rules will help protect sagebrush habitat needed by imperiled sage grouse and other wildlife.