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Alternative Timber Plan Experiment On Tap

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The California Board of Forestry is trying for the third consecutive year to take the first step to approving logging plans based on the health of entire watersheds instead of piecemeal timber sales.

But the experimental plan will be in place for just next year as the board works on permanent regulations.

Environmental groups say only big timber companies whose interests are represented by the board will be able to take advantage of the new rules. The timber industry says the alternative is better than the current one-size-fits-all approach it says is too slow and too expensive.