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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Congressman Daines wants to cut timber--and food benefits

Sen. Daines Addressing Montana Energy Issues
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Montana’s Congressman Steve Daines is touting a bill he is cosponsoring which would increase logging on national forest lands.

The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act passed the U.S. House last Friday.

Supporters say the bill would boost local economies near forest land and help lower the risk of catastrophic wildfires like those seen near Yosemite National Park this summer.

But, the bill faces some stiff opposition, including from the Obama Administration.

In this Feature Interview, Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce speaks with Congressman Daines about that bill, and Daines’ recent vote to cut the federal food stamp program, called SNAP. The Republican-led House passed the SNAP cuts last week, over opposition from Democrats. It would cut SNAP by $4 billion dollars annually for the next decade.

First, back to his forest bill. Congressman Daines says growing up in Montana he was an avid outdoorsman who spent a great deal of time in the backcountry. But, he also says he remembers a thriving timber industry. He said timber harvest in the state has declined 90 percent on national forest lands since the early 80’s.  

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