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Mexican man sentenced to 43 years in assault on Forest Service officer

An Agua Prieta man will serve 43 years in a U.S. federal prison for attacking a U.S. Forest Service officer near Douglas last August, a judge ordered Monday.... Read more»

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At Fossil Creek, reservations may be required

Overwhelming crowds have caused Forest Rangers to enact an online reservation system to mitigate the safety hazards and environmental impact of heavy visitation at Fossil Creek.... Read more»

Stopgap budget has $700M to replenish funds shifted to fight wildfires

When Congress passed the short-term budget that headed off a government shutdown Wednesday, it included $700 million to replenish U.S. Forest Service accounts that had been raided in recent months to fight wildfires. But critics say firefighting is chronically underfunded.... Read more»

Groups to feds: Tighten mining rules in light of Colorado spill

Citing the release of millions of gallons of toxic wastewater into a southwestern Colorado river earlier this month, a coalition of conservation groups, two Native American tribes and two county governments in Arizona petitioned federal agencies Tuesday to tighten mining regulation on public lands.... Read more»

Hold your horses: Planned Tonto Forest roundup delayed to September

The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday it has put a planned roundup of up to 100 horses in the Tonto National Forest on hold until September, when Congress returns from recess.... Read more»

Fighting fire with fire: Prescribed burns take aim at wildfire threats

As bureaucrats in Washington were complaining about growing costs of wildfires Wednesday, forest officials in Arizona were lighting a forest fire – but the two groups are working toward the same goal. The “prescribed burn” that was set in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest was put out Wednesday evening after burning 73 acres of scrub.... Read more»

Forest Service says wildfire growth threatens to consume agency budget

Costs to battle wildfires will consume almost all of the U.S. Forest Service budget in 10 years unless Congress changes the way firefighting efforts are funded, the agency warned Wednesday.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Kirkpatrick: Resilient forests, resilient communities

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick: Arizonans are all too familiar with the consequences of unhealthy and poorly managed forests. Wildfires not only lead to devastating economic losses, they can take a tragic human toll. It's clear that forest health should be a priority in Arizona. But it also needs to be a priority in Congress.... Read more»

Despite critics, House OKs bill aimed at curbing wildfires

Where supporters say the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 will reduce wildfires, critics say the bill guts environmental regulations and promotes high-risk logging.... Read more»

House panel advances bill to improve forest management, fire prevention

A house panel gave preliminary approval Thursday to a bill aimed at reducing catastrophic wildfires on federal lands by better managing forests before fires and quickly restoring them afterward.... Read more»

Feds: Despite slow start, catastrophic wildfires could heat up summer

Federal officials said Tuesday they will be “ready when fire strikes,” but raised concerns over funding for the upcoming wildfire season and the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires in the drought-stricken West.... Read more»

Hunters to House: Don’t restrict sportsmen on federal lands

Sportsmen called on a House panel Wednesday to support a sweeping proposal that they said would guarantee hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting rights on federal lands for future generations. Critics say the bill would remove environmental protections to solve a problem the doesn’t exist.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Kirkpatrick: Arizona forests need thinning

Arizona’s forests and public lands are more than just beautiful scenery. For many of us, the trees, lakes, rivers and other outdoor treasures embody our way of life. And they are part of our local economies. That’s why so many hopes are pinned on the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), the nation’s largest forest-thinning project.... Read more»

Experts press case for forest management to head off catastrophic wildfires

The science is in and the time to act on forest management is now if the government wants to avoid more catastrophic wildfires, a panel of wildfire experts told a House committee Thursday.... Read more»

Environmental impact statement clears way for forest thinning

The Forest Service signed off on the final environmental impact statement for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative last week, clearing the way for thinning 600,000 acres of Arizona forest.... Read more»

Fort Huachuca plans ‘buffer’ against development; conservationists skeptical

A trio of federal agencies announced this week that Fort Huachuca will be part of a program aimed at preventing land development around bases, to aid military operations while protecting vulnerable environments. Conservationists are skeptical.... Read more»1

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