Denham Offers Amendment to Expedite the Removal of Salvaged Timber from Yosemite Rim Fire

Sep 20, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) joined with Reps. McClintock, McCarthy and LaMalfa (all R-CA) to offer an amendment to the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (H.R. 1526). The amendment, which passed the House with bipartisan support in a vote of 243-172, waives judicial review on any timber salvage project resulting from a wildfire occurring in 2013, including the recent Yosemite Rim Fire.

“The permitting process is typically fraught with problems, lawsuits, delays and frustrations,” said Rep. Denham. “My hope is that this amendment will speed up timber salvage projects on the acres burned in this tragic fire and that the timber can be used for much-needed jobs benefitting local economies throughout the state and nation.”

“While no amount of money can recoup the damage and the danger of the Yosemite Rim Fire, we need to help our communities by removing the red tape currently forcing them to suffer more,” said Rep. Denham.

The amendment limits the amount of litigation that could be brought up when pursuing salvage logging from any catastrophic wildfire which occurs in 2013. Under the proposed amendment, wood salvaged from the Yosemite Rim fire could be quickly sent to local mills, fueling job growth and strengthening local economies by providing revenues to the impacted counties.

The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act requires increased timber production on commercial national forest land, reestablishing the Federal government’s commitment to actively managing Federal forests for the benefit of rural schools, counties and the general public. The bill also improves forest health to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and improves forest management by allowing counties to actively participate.

The Yosemite Rim Fire, which started in the Stanislaus National Forest on August 17 and burned over 400 square miles of California land, was the third largest in California’s history.