Idaho, Wash. forests receive restoration money

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- Two national forests in Idaho and Washington state could receive more than $90 million over the next 10 years as part of a forest restoration plan intended to boost timber production and create jobs while making forests healthier and less prone to wildfire.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington state and the Panhandle National Forest in northern Idaho are among 13 national forests selected to receive money.

The Spokesman-Review reports (http://bit.ly/Acr7u0) that work on the Panhandle National Forest includes improving water quality to help struggling white sturgeon populations and planting whitebark pines to help grizzly bears.

The goal on the Colville National Forest is to return the forest to more natural conditions so stands can survive droughts and insect attacks.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com