Limited U.S. Forest Service budgets affect South Dakota projects - KOTA Territory News

Limited U.S. Forest Service budgets affect South Dakota projects

Some U.S. Forest Service projects in South Dakota are not being finished due to the limited federal firefighting budgets.
A federal report states the Forest Service has not been able to complete about seven projects in South Dakota over the past two years. It says funding for local wildfire preparedness, forest restoration and other activities in almost every state is used to fight fires when wildfire suppression budgets didn't fully cover firefighting costs during the fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

Frank Carroll, who retired from the Forest Service and now owns a forest management business, says the government needs to fix this problem.
"The Congress needs to pass legislation and the President needs to sign it that goes back to an old system we used to use, where the agencies would fight the fires and at the end of the year the congress would pay the bill for that fire fight," said Carroll.
Among the postponed plans in South Dakota is a $5,000 project to clear downfall and conduct related trail maintenance in areas affected by the bark beetle. A $160,000 project to reduce hazard trees, decommission roads and conduct travel management was also deferred.
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