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Science and Innovations

U.S. Forest Service Directed To Increase Mining, Grazing, And Recreation

Brady Smith, U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Coconino National Forest

A memo published today by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue directs the U.S. Forest Service to increase mining, grazing, and recreation on public lands. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

The memo announces a “blueprint for reforms” meant to provide relief from regulations and boost the productivity of national forests and grasslands.  It directs the U.S. Forest Service to identify opportunities for energy extraction, create plans that support rangeland grazing, and increase access to public lands for recreation. The memo also asks the U.S. Forest Service to expedite broadband development for internet and to streamline the policies governing the completion of environmental reviews.

In response to the memo, the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit environmental group, says the plan is a “roadmap to environmental destruction” and that it will increase air and water pollution and harm wildlife.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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