Jan 31, 2005

Expert Says Reducing Forests Would Help Ease Drought in Wyoming

A federal forest official says one way to address Wyoming's long-standing drought is to clear cut more forest land.

Rick Cables is the Rocky Mountain Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service. He says as drought conditions continue across the West, there's growing interest in getting more water from forests.

One way to do that West says, is to cut 25 percent of forest land. That could make a lot more water available, but the land would have to remain cut permanently for the benefits to last.

Cables' statement Thursday was to the Wyoming Legislature's Joint Agriculture, Public Lands and Water Resources Interim Committee.
Some lawmakers questioned whether the public would support such a substantial cutting of public forests.

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