Such waivers, known as categorical exclusions, have been misused in the past for widespread tree cutting, said Michael Francis, director of the national forest program for the Wilderness Society.
But isn't that the point? We want the dead trees cut down now, not after years of courtroom wrangling.
It turns out that Mark Udall remains intent on preventing the establishment of clear cut fire breaks. He told the Wilderness Society:
"These lands that fit in the categorical-exclusion category have to be very close to a community, and they have to be part of a community's wildfire-protection plan," Udall said.
The Udall bill allows the exclusions for land within 1.5 miles of an affected area. The Wilderness Society supports only a half-mile limit, Francis said.
"When you start going out, you're not getting any protection, and you're spending an awful lot of the taxpayers' money," Francis said.
We think that a failure to have clear cut fire breaks at the Hayman fire area has cost the taxpayers in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars so far. Michael Francis has no interest in protecting the taxpayers when he can protect dead trees by claiming to protect the taxpayers.
Udall admits that his bill won't allow for either fire breaks more than 7000 feet from a community or the roads that would support them:
The bill keeps in place protections for land in wilderness areas, where new roads can't be built or where the land is fragile, Udall said.Colorado voters will be well rid of Mark Udall. He totally lacks common sense. Fragile land that is encrusted by a hot forest fire doesn't support any kind of life. Ask the folks who live near the Hayman burn area.