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Letter: Gov. Gary Herbert is clueless about forest management

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Carol Majeske, recreation staff officer for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, has been researching the history of the Spruces Campground.

With wildfires rampant in the West, national forest lands are feeling the impact. On top of that, the U.S. Forest Service is grossly underfunded, with an estimated backlog of shovel-ready forest health projects for 1.3 million acres in Utah forests alone.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s recent proposal for a Utah-specific roadless rule certainly wouldn’t make anything easier for the already burdened Forest Service.

Harv Forsgren’s recent commentary provides insight from on the ground with the Forest Service — insight that Herbert has chosen to ignore in his conquest to redo the management of 4 million acres of national roadless forests.

The state’s feeble attempt to understand the daily struggles of forest management is evident in their misguided efforts to mitigate wildfire. Without the perspective of those tasked with managing forests and preventing wildfire every day, how would Herbert have any clue what Utah forests need?

It's not the restrictions of the roadless rule or the mismanagement of national forests that lead to such catastrophic wildfires. It’s the lack of funding that restricts Forest Service employees from getting the job done with the tools they already have.

Logan Hastings, Salt Lake City

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