Jun 8, 2015 12:15 PM by News Staff
WASHINGTON (AP) - Drought has killed about 12 million trees in California's national forests.
In the Rocky Mountain region, an epidemic of pine beetles has damaged trees over a stretch of 32 million acres.
Altogether, up to 40 percent of the entire national forest system is in need of treatment to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and disease.
The health of national forest lands is taking a hit from drought, density and infestation. And it's prompting House Republicans to resurrect efforts to more quickly thin millions of acres and to take down dead trees.
That's not a new battle. But this time, some GOP proposals are winning positive feedback from the Obama administration, even as some environmental groups and House Democrats express concerns.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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