Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA-02) introduced a bill on July 27 that seeks to “guard communities against wildfires, provide local jobs, restore lands impaired by illegal marijuana growing operations, and protect many of Northwest California’s spectacular wild places and pristine streams,” according to Huffman. The as-yet unnumbered bill is being called the “Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act.” The bill’s contents focus on recreation, conservation, and what little discussion of “economic development” is restricted to the creation of a couple visitor centers, a fire preparedness plan, and a study on the economic impact of creating an overnight camping site in the Redwood National and State Parks. Among other things, the bill seeks to designate a 730,000-acre tract as the South Fork Trinity-Mad River Restoration Area. Involved with this would be “a careful program of individual tree-removal” targeted at reducing the potential for severe fires. The bill also seeks to expand existing wilderness areas and create new ones, amounting to up to 260,000 acres of additional federal public land being removed from resource-extractive use. The bill claims these areas would still be open to recreational uses. — WLJ

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