Logging

In June of 2002, nearly half a million acres burned in the Arizona high country. At the time, the Rodeo-Chediski Fire was the largest wildfire in the state’s history. There was too much fuel in the forest, a buildup that began more than a century ago. Enough people saw the record-breaking fire and agreed that something needed to be done to prevent the next big fire.

Anna Rader


Medicine Bow National Forest is a popular area for recreation in Southeastern Wyoming, covering about one million acres of mountains, lakes, and more.

The National Forest Service is launching a plan for restoration in Medicine Bow. The Landscape Vegetation Analysis, or LaVA project, gives the Forest Service the ability to treat over two hundred thousand acres of the forest with prescribed burns and logging and build up to 600 miles of temporary roads. Although the Forest Service said the goal of the project is to create a healthier forest, environmental groups are critical of the plan.

National Forest Service

The National Forest Service is launching a new restoration project in Medicine Bow National Forest.

Duane Keown

Some conservation groups are pushing back against a potential long term restoration program in Medicine Bow National Forest.

The sun is just a dim red dot. The nearby Canadian Rockies are shrouded in thick wildfire smoke.

Bob Gray knows we probably shouldn’t be hiking up a mountain right now.

“I have a scratchy throat,” he says. “Physically it effects my breathing. I probably shouldn’t spend a lot of time in it.”

The omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last month earmarked billions of dollars for fighting wildfires.  Many conservationists and politicians celebrated that change.

But the legislation also rolls rolls back some environmental protections and that has split the conservation community.

landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov

Wyoming Republican John Barrasso is leading a fight in the U.S. Senate to change regulations on timber harvesting in national forests. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that environmentalists and foresters are suspicious of his idea.