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Federal Ruling Could Slow Timber Production

Sonora, CA — Timber industry proponents are disappointed with a federal judge ruling that struck down national forest management rules implemented by the Bush administration.

The administration adopted a policy in 2005 and again in 2008 that relaxed requirements related to the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. It included “categorical exclusions” that sped up the review process for timber harvesting.

“This sets things backwards at a time when stepping backwards seems archaic,” says TuCare President Mike Albrecht. “We need to thin the forests out if we are going to save our wildlife and our timber stands.”

“Those officials (Bush Administration) were not trying to endanger species for the gain of the timber industry, but were just trying to just speed up the process.”

The lawsuit was filed by a group of 14 environmental organizations.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.