(WASH. D.C.) – AS YOU SMELL THE SMOKE AND THE FIRES CONTINUE TO GROW IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MT REPUBLICAN SENATOR STEVE DAINES SAYS HE’S PUSHING FOR A NEW PROGRAM TO REDUCE FUTURE WILDFIRES.

TODAY IN THE SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE, DAINES URGED CONGRESS TO TAKE ACTION ON HIS BILL CALLED THE “PROTECT COLLABORATION FOR HEALTHIER FORESTS ACT.  THE ACT CALLS FOR AUTHORIZING THE U-S FOREST SERVICE TO USE BINDING ARBITRATION TO SETTLE, MORE SWIFTLY, FOREST RESTORATION PROJECTS.

IN THE COMMITTEE HEARING, DAINES SAID, “AS WE SPEAK, THERE ARE 27 TIMBER SALES CURRENTLY UNDER LITIGATION IN MONTANA AND I CAN’T EVEN SEE THE MOUNTAINS OUT MY BACK DOOR, JUST A FEW MILES AWAY BECAUSE OF THE SMOKE.”

HE ADDED THAT “COMBATING CHRONIC LITIGATION DOESN’T ERODE PUBLIC INPUT, IT SAFEGUARDS IT.”

Also as we speak, the Howe Ridge Fire near W. Glacier has grown to more than 10-thousasnd acres and created a smoky haze for 12 straight days, costing more than a million dollars to date.    It was a lightning caused fire but as the Park's report said today, firefighters continued work on removing dead trees and brush to try and create a firebreak.