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Wilderness debate strikes close to home for those who use forests

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carzen Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:28 PM
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Wilderness debate strikes close to home for those who use forests
For the people who use Vermont's vast forests for recreation or logging, the debate over how much to preserve - and how to do it - is more than a political issue.

"It' philosophical and economical," said Ed Larson, executive director of the Vermont Forest Products Association, a trade group for loggers, wood products manufacturers and landowners that opposes a bill that would add 42,000 acres to the 59,000 acres of wilderness now in the Green Mountain National Forest.

The legislation, which was combined with a bill authored by U.S. Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., also would designate additional wilderness in the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

The bill has erupted into a political fight in Vermont, pitting advocates for logging and hunting against those who say the land should preserved. Opponents say Vermont's congressional delegation is trying to push a bill through Congress without airing it first, but supporters note its roots in U.S. Forest Service recommendations that stemmed from several years of study and public meetings.
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