Forest Service, Idaho Work to Boost Logging on Federal Land

The US Forest Service and Idaho have forged 10 agreements for logging and restoration projects on federal land in what officials say could become a template for other Western states to create jobs and reduce the severity of wildfires.

Under the deals, Idaho foresters will administer timber sales on about 10,000 acres (40 square kilometers) the federal agency has on its to-do list but can’t complete because the money for the work is instead going to fight wildfires.

So far this year, the cost of that fight has surpassed $2 billion — more than half the federal agency’s annual budget — during one of the worst fire seasons on record in the West.