Environmentalists are suing the Forest Service to block logging in the northern Sierra they say will harm wildlife and increase the fire risks the project is aimed at reducing.
Two groups filed the lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento challenging the logging planned across nearly five-thousand acres of the Plumas National Forest in the mountains along the California-Nevada border 35 miles northwest of Reno.
They accuse the Forest Service of rushing an incomplete environmental review of the project to make a deadline for an exemption from rules governing old-growth forests in a new protection strategy known as the Sierra Nevada framework.
Forest Service officials in the region say it´s the first suit they´ve faced since they adopted the strategy for the Sierra´s eleven national forests in December. The agency is currently reviewing the overall strategy at the urging of the timber industry and others who say it is to restrictive.