The effort to open the Alaskan wilderness area, the nation’s largest national forest, has been in the works for about two years.
Early this year, lawmakers considered legislation to thin forests, hire firefighters and increase building standards to prepare for wildfires. But a dispute over how to address climate change doomed the proposals.
Oregon’s fate has always been intertwined with the forests that blanket the state. Now millions of trees are charred, and those who live from them face a future full of uncertainty.