Salvage of burned timber is essential

Published: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 - 9:18 am

Re "The Rim fire: Recovery and raging debate" (Forum, Pia Lopez, Jan. 12) and "McClintock is tangling Rim fire recovery efforts" (Editorials, Jan. 12): The Bee published a column and an editorial in opposition to my HR 3188, which seeks to expedite salvage of timber killed by the Yosemite Rim Fire last summer.

Salvage is an urgent matter, because within a year the trees lose much of their value and soon thereafter become worthless. Private landowner SPI has already salvaged 60 percent of its holdings, while the public's timber rots in place.

The current bureaucratic review process takes a year to complete, and litigation then runs out the clock on what value remains of this perishable resource. This is the process the editorial defends, at the cost of hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars that could be devoted to forest restoration.

HR 3188, modeled on successful bipartisan legislation, vests federal forest managers with full authority to enforce well established procedures for environmental protection, while protecting our economy from the high cost of delay.

-- U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove

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