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Judge Denies Attempt to Ease Logging Rules

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A San Francisco judge has thrown out the state´s third attempt to approve logging plans based on the health of entire watersheds instead of piecemeal timber sales. He ruled yesterday that the regulations in place since May 2002 would increase logging and harm watersheds.

This decision throws into doubt the California Board of Forestry´s plan to extend last year´s plan for three more years to entice more companies to sign on.

The California Forestry Association says the regulations would have let timber companies concentrate on improving water quality in problem areas rather than meeting cookie-cutter regulations.