Monday, March 14, 2011

Judge halts another Forest Service clearing project

A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to protect imperiled species on the remaining 600 miles of a $1 million roadside-clearing project in Central California's Los Padres National Forest. U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh granted Los Padres Forestwatch's requests to protect the National Forest from the U.S. Forest Service. Judge Koh found that the Forest Service's failure to seek input from the public or other agencies "flies in the face" of environmental laws designed to ensure an open process. The project involves removing trees and vegetation along 750 miles of forest roads in the Los Padres National Forest, to reduce fire risks and other potential hazards. Judge Koh found that the Forest Service had failed to seek public input and consult other agencies over its plan, despite its own biologists' findings that it could affect threatened and endangered species such as the Smith's blue butterfly and seacliff buckwheat...more

The opinion is here.

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