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Groups File Suit To Halt Idaho Salvage Logging

Two Montana environmental groups have filed suit in federal court to halt salvage logging in burned areas of the Boise National Forest.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the Ecology Center of Missoula on Friday filed suit in U.S. District Court at Boise.

Last week, Deputy Regional Forester Jack Blackwell denied appeals against a plan to salvage timber on nearly 78,000 acres of the 180,000 burned in the forest last year. The proposed 263 million board feet would be the largest sale in the Boise forest’s history.

The Idaho Conservation League and Idaho Rivers United on Tuesday filed a challenge in the same court.

“The Forest Service says they have an emergency situation and they must start logging immediately,” said Jennifer Ferenstein of the alliance. “The truth is that six of the sales have only sold for minimum bid and more recently only two of six offerings attracted bids at all.

“This indicates to us that the sales are not in high demand and the Forest Service should slow down and do the job right.”