FLAGSTAFF, AZ — The U.S. Forest Service has put the brakes on large-scale restoration efforts in Arizona.
The decision this week drew sharp rebukes from elected officials concerned about the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
The Four Forest Restoration Initiative is the largest of its kind within the Forest Service, an agency that oversees 300,000 square miles in the U.S.
The venture launched more than a decade ago was a rare showing of consensus among longtime adversaries to reshape forests on a large scale.
The project has struggled to keep pace and hit another snag. After reviewing proposals submitted for work on 812 square miles, the Forest Service decided not to award a contract.