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Sharp Reaction To Lawsuit

Sonora, CA — Reaction is starting to pour in regarding the lawsuit filed against the Rim Fire Recovery Record of Decision.

One group that worked closely with Forest Service Officials to hammer out a compromise regarding the Record of Decision was Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions (YSS) group. John Buckley of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC) is the co-chair of that group.

“It was very disappointing,” says Buckley, “because the environmental community locally and timber industry and other interests had all collaborated and worked so hard to try to provide to the Forest Service ways to minimize controversy.”

Mike Albrecht with Sierra Resources Management logging company and chair of the group adds, “I think it’s kind of telling that our local community is in agreement, but folks from out of state want to have their say. Hopefully what will happen is that a Judge will see that we all agree on things here in Tuolumne County and will rule in our favor.”

The complaint issued by the Earth Island Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Chaparral Institute calls for a halt to any logging within the 37 occupied California spotted owl territories within the burned area.  That would prevent logging in about 40% of the Rim Fire areas already approved by the decision for tree removal.

Rim Fire Recovery Spokesperson Georgia Dempsey would not comment on details of the lawsuit but says, “We are going to continue with the Rim Fire Recovery Plan and the Record of Decision as it stands unless we are directed otherwise.” She notes that includes continuing to take bids from logging contractors.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday afternoon in a Fresno federal court. Dempsey says they have not been notified that a court date has been set.