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Men Must Pay Fine For Protest Of Forest Logging

Two protesters who perched in wooden barricades to block logging in the Nez Perce National Forest have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Martin Stephen, 25, Boise, and Joshua Burnim, 23, Fairfield, Conn., each pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of illegally maintaining a structure in the forest and one count of blocking a forest road in the Cove-Mallard area.

The two occupied log tripod structures on July 18, refusing to leave when asked by Forest Service employees. They subsequently were arrested.

“None of Idaho’s four federal judges have ever halted a timber sale,” Burnim said. “With the bad reputation of the Forest Service, one begins to wonder if Idaho judges take environmental forestry laws seriously.”

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge sentenced each to one year of probation, 50 hours of community service, and a $500 fine and ordered them to steer clear of unauthorized activities on forest lands.

Activists have camped in the Nez Perce forest each summer for years, protesting logging and road-building in the largest undeveloped forest tract in the 48 contiguous states.