Smokey bearEnvironmentalists would have to put their money where their mouth is if they want to block timber projects that prevent forest fires.

That’s the meat of a bill moving through Congress titled “Returning Resilience to our Overgrown, Fire-prone National Forests Act of 2015.”

The pay to litigate strategy forces greenies to pay administrative court costs up front, as a deterrent from filing phony and costly lawsuits, which in the past have cost taxpayers a bundle and left forests vulnerable to wildfire.

More than 1,100 lawsuits have been filed against the Forest Service in the last two decades to block thinning projects that would have prevented wildfires, and lawmakers say that hundreds have been filed during the Obama administration.

Instead of clearing dead and dying trees and brush and maintaining trails through our national forests, Service officials spend 60 percent of their workload on the planning process that results from litigation.

In addition to the timber jobs these frivolous lawsuits have killed, untold forested acres as well as private property have been destroyed by catastrophic wildfires.

The first hearing on the legislation was held Wednesday, and judging by the support it received from lawmakers, it will be headed to the full House soon for a vote.

Considering the destruction that forest fires in Colorado have wrecked, we expect to see our own delegation support this valuable legislation.