U.S. unveils vision for more development in national forests

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday unveiled what he called a "blueprint" for enabling energy extraction, mining, grazing and logging in federal forests by speeding up environmental reviews and permitting.
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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue holds a U.S. flag-themed face mask while speaking about the nation?s food supply chain during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response event in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

In a memorandum to U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen, Perdue said more was needed to relieve burdensome regulations on industries and make federal forests and grasslands more productive.

"These lands are critical for the prosperity of rural communities, sustaining jobs and livelihoods in grazing, mining, oil and gas development, recreation and forestry," the letter said.

The vision laid out in the letter is in line with the Trump administration's broad effort to allow more energy extraction and infrastructure development on federal lands and waters.

Perdue directed the USFS to streamline processes and identify new opportunities for mineral extraction, expedite broadband development, and speed up permitting for grazing and…
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