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State Shortcutting Logging Approvals

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An environmental lawsuit says California approved hundreds of logging plans affecting hundreds of thousands of acres even though a regional water board failed to review the plans as required by law.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board repeatedly told the Department of Forestry it can´t review the proposals because it doesn´t have the staff.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is asking a judge to block more logging until the reviews are completed. The regional board is supposed to protect water quality for more than half the state´s commercial timberland. Its jurisdiction runs from the Oregon border to south of Bakersfield – covering the entire Central Valley and the western Sierra Nevada.

A department spokesman says the department´s own staff makes sure water quality problems are resolved.