In the West, an unkind budget cut for overgrown forests

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In the West, an unkind budget cut for overgrown forests

Lack of funding makes strange bedfellows in U.S. Congress
State Sen. Ellen Roberts talks to people who lost their homes in the Lower North Fork Fire near Conifer in 2012. Political efforts to address the country’s growing wildfire problem have been stunted by a lack of money in governmental budgets.
Complete wildfire coverage

For related articles, photo galleries, video, statistics, maps and a quiz to test your fire IQ, visit www.durangoherald.com/wildfires

In this series

The nation is in a fire trap: With each wildfire that is put out, the fuel load grows, and more people are enticed to move into the forest, increasing the demands for fire suppression.
Sunday: The Forest Service has understood for decades that forests need fire to stay healthy. And yet it puts out 98 percent of all fires.
Monday: When homes are nearby, fire managers lose many of their options.
Tuesday: Though more homeowners are heeding the Firewise message and clearing out overgrown vegetation, there’s no such thing as a fireproof forest neighborhood.
Today: As the West burns, Washington is paralyzed by a three-way fight between the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Thursday: Against all odds, foresters in Southwest Colorado have been able to let nature have its way in recent wildfires.

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In the West, an unkind budget cut for overgrown forests

State Sen. Ellen Roberts talks to people who lost their homes in the Lower North Fork Fire near Conifer in 2012. Political efforts to address the country’s growing wildfire problem have been stunted by a lack of money in governmental budgets.
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