Michigan Forest Plan Passed By Split Legislature

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan legislators have voted to curtail state regulators’ consideration of biological diversity when designating sections of state forest land.

The Republican-controlled House’s party-line vote Thursday night came despite objections from environmentalists who say the “anti-science” bill guts practices in place for nearly 100 years.

The measure heads to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

The timber industry says the legislation is needed to prevent large areas of state-owned land from being declared off-limits to logging and motorized recreation Officials say that isn’t their intention.

Critics of the bill say the state Natural Resources Department has sought diversity in species of plants and animals while managing and restoring lands since its founding and the measure is far broader than sponsors have indicated.

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