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Timber Sales Can Temporarily Continue

Sonora, CA — There has been some movement in a lawsuit related to the federal 2004 revisions to the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan.

The Forest Service’s 2004 framework allows for larger diameter trees to be harvested than the previous 2001 framework and has drawn complaints from environmental groups. The non-profit Sierra Forest Legacy filled a lawsuit against the 2004 revisions and asked the court to halt the sale of some timber while the case is being considered.

“The Ninth Circuit Court recently denied a requested injunction on some timber sales up in the northern part of the state, and effectively said the Forest Service timber sales can move forward while the case continues on the Sierra Nevada Framework,” says Mike Albrecht of Sierra Resource Management. “We view this as a small victory while the bigger issue over the 2004 framework gets solved.”

The 2004 revisions allow for additional commercial logging of Forest Service land as a mechanism to reduce the threat of wildfire.

“The 2004 framework is very important, not only to the timber industry, but also forest managers,” adds Albrecht.

Environmental groups have argued that the changes go too far, and claim that not all alternatives were considered when the 2004 revisions were adopted.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.