Arkansas Online:

By Frank E. Lockwood

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee voted Tuesday for legislation that would overhaul the way the nation's forests are managed, making it easier to bypass environmental regulations and increasing the amount of money available to battle wildfires.

Lawmakers voted 11-9 to approve an amended version of HR2647, a bill that is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, a Hot Springs Republican.

The legislation would enable federal officials, when there's a disaster, to quickly implement salvage operations and re-forestry efforts, bypassing the sorts of environmental studies that are typically required.

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