March 08, 2005

Crapo Leads Forest Health Hearing As Western Fires Burn

Senate opens discussion of Healthy Forests Restoration Act

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo opened a Senate hearing on President Bushâ??s Health Forests Restoration Act this morning, calling it â??crucial legislation,â?? that is about all elements in the forests-wildlife habitat, water quality, and even human safety. Crapo, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committeeâ??s Subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation, and Rural Revitalization, said he agreed with recent comments by Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth about how forests should be managed:â??We need to move the focus from what we take, to what we leave,â?? Crapo said. â??The wildlife seasons of 2000 and 2002 were the largest and most destructive in fifty years. The fires destroyed property, degraded air and water quality, and damaged fish and wildlife habitat. They cost billions to fight, and even worse, cost the lives of firefighters. The damage to the environment was severe and the cost to communities untold.â??Crapo brought with him the damaged bark he collected three weeks ago from bug-damaged timber near Elk City on the Nez Perce National Forest. Jackie McAvoy of Post Falls, past president of Idaho Women in Timber; and Mike Peterson, of the Lands Council from Spokane, are among the witnesses speaking at the hearing. A follow up release will be issued later today A satellite feed regarding Crapo and the forest health hearing today is available:1:45-2:15 p.m. Mountain Time/ 12:45-1:45 p.m. PacificGalaxy 3 (C-Band) Transponder 7 HorizontalDownlink Frequency 3840Standard Audio# # #Radio actuality available at 1-800-545-1267, Ext. 327 or http://crapo.senate.gov