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Forest Service salvage logging blocked

Late yesterday, a federal court ordered a preliminary injunction in the civil case over the Forest Service's Johnson Bar Fire Salvage project. The order stops salvage logging near the Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater Wild and Scenic rivers.

Idaho Rivers United and Friends of the Clearwater argued that the Forest Service "violated its duties to protect the Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and also failed to fully evaluate cumulative environmental impacts along with other private and state land logging and 2015 fires in the same area," the groups noted in a joint news release.

“The Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater Rivers are among the crown jewels of our nation’s river systems, as Congress recognized back in 1968 when it protected them as the first rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act,” said IRU Conservation Director Kevin Lewis. “This is an important court ruling enforcing Congressional direction that these are to be protected for present and future generations.”

In March, the Idaho County Commission had declared its concern that "delay resulting in the loss of another field season [would] significantly increase the cost of reforestation and other restoration activities and potentially result in the abandonment of the project if timber deteriorates to the point where it is not economically viable to commercially harvest.”

(Further details will be in print on Wednesday.)


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