RENO, Nev. -- Biologists, ecologists and other scientists are urging Congress to defeat legislation they say would destroy critical wildlife habitat by setting aside environmental laws to speed logging of burned trees at Yosemite National Park and other areas across the West.
The experts said two measures pushed by pro-logging interests ignore a growing scientific consensus that the burned landscape plays a critical role in forest regeneration and is home to birds, bats and other species found nowhere else.
Proponents of bills by Republican Congressmen Don Hastings of Washington and Tom McClintock of California said not enough timber is being harvested from burned-over areas. They said delays in logging after wildfires makes reforestation more difficult and expensive and increases fire danger.
The scientists sent a letter to Congress urging the bills' defeat.