Yosemite Rim Fire Emergency Salvage Act Introduced
Washington, DC – Congressman Tom McClintock today introduced HR 3188, the Yosemite Rim Fire Emergency Salvage Act. The measure provides for the expedited salvage of fire-killed timber in the Stanislaus National Forest and the Yosemite National Park by waiving environmental regulations and litigation that often delay salvage operations until the timber becomes worthless. It is estimated that up to one billion board feet of timber could be salvaged if it can be processed in the next 18 months.
The legislation is nearly identical to an amendment McClintock successfully placed in HR 1526, (the “Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act),” last week, and is modeled on similar legislation by Democratic Senator Tom Daschle to expedite salvage of beetle-killed timber and reduce the risk of wildfire in the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. HR 1526 and McClintock’s amendment passed with bi-partisan support.
“The Yosemite Rim Fire is a tragedy that has destroyed 400 square miles of our forests. If any good can come of this tragedy, it would be the timely salvage of fire-killed timber that could provide employment to local mills and desperately needed economic activity to mountain communities. Moreover, revenues from the sale of salvage rights could be used to restore our ravaged forests and provide recovery assistance to cash-strapped local communities,” McClintock said. “But this can’t happen if salvage is indefinitely delayed by bureaucratic processes or the usual litigation filed by extremist environmental groups.”
H.R 3188 has been co-sponsored by House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Washington); Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), and Sierra Nevada-area Representatives Doug LaMalfa, Jeff Denham, Paul Cook, Devin Nunes, David Valadao and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
The bill has already been scheduled for hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 10am EDT.