U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell says logging in Montana could be tripled over current levels and it is important to significantly increase forest restoration work.

Tidwell was before the Senate Appropriations Interior Subcommittee last week lobbying for a nearly $5 billion budget in fiscal year 2016.

Montana's two senators, Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Steve Daines, questioned Tidwell on goals for Montana, pushing for increases in timber production to saw mills and other wood products.

The Independent Record reports that forest restoration, including logging, produced 113 million board feet in Montana during fiscal year 2014.

Tidwell says 300 million board feet is a reasonable goal for logging in Montana. He says the number of restored acres needed to increase at least four times.

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