Forest Service could get $775 million for wildfire costs

Forest Service could get $775 million for wildfire costs

24 September 2008

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USA — The U.S. Forest Service will likely receive $775 million in special funds from Congress in the coming weeks to help the agency pay for the enormous costs of fighting wildfires this summer.

Critics of the plan — which include the strange bedfellows of conservationists and timber industry advocates — said on Wednesday the short-term monetary relief is much needed thing, but Congress is still failing to fix a serious, long-term funding problem, which is only expected to repeat and worsen almost every year.

If a proposed funding resolution passes both the House and Senate, the Forest Service should be able to transfer money back to individual National Forests throughout the United States that were forced to dip into their operating budgets this August, just so the federal agency could afford to manage costly wildfires in places such as California, Mississippi and Georgia.

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