Plan to Log California's Sierra Nevada Draws Suit

MGN Online
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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Wildlife advocates have filed a lawsuit over a plan to allow the logging of trees that were killed last year in the third largest wildfire in California's history.

A coalition of environmental groups on Thursday filed the federal lawsuit in Fresno, saying the U.S. Forest Service ignored science showing California spotted owls are thriving in the forests burned by the massive Rim Fire. The fire scorched 400 square miles in the Sierra Nevada.

Last week, federal officials unveiled plans to open 52 square miles to loggers.

Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project, one of the plaintiffs, says the suit seeks to stop logging on 40 percent of the designated area, leaving plenty for loggers.

Forest Service officials have defended their plan, saying it strikes a balance between loggers and wildlife.