Facing increasing concerns about protecting the environment, the government has enacted the Healthy Forests Restoration Act in 2003 to help control wildfires. However, there has been some speculation that "thinning" forests is actually a ruse for timber companies to cut down more trees. In order to answer these questions, one must look to the origins and aftermath of this act.
When President Bush signed the restoration act on December 3, 2003, the White House asserted its pledge to reduce the dangers of wildfires while simultaneously maintaining important environmental standards and allowing for open public commentary and inclusion during the planning process. (Whitehouse.gov) The administration pointed out the need for common sense forest legislation, because of the increasing number of catastrophic fires occurring in states like California, Arizona, Colorado, Montana and Oregon. These fires are burning hotter and faster than before in addition to reducing the air quality and visibility in the environment. Not only is peoples' health being threatened, but the natural habitats and homes for wildlife have been utterly decimated.
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