NATION IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Senate OKs Plan for Logging Exemption

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Senate has tentatively approved a plan to exempt some national forest logging from environmental laws in an effort to ease fire threats and harvest dying trees. The proposal by Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) would insulate the logging from legal challenges under the Endangered Species Act and other laws. The House has approved a similar measure, although President Clinton has indicated he opposes the idea. Critics say salvage operations actually increase fire threats. The harvests also promote soil erosion and damage fish habitats, they say.

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