September 2, 2014
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Forest Service officials have agreed to move post-fire logging operations at Lake Tahoe away from nests with rare, black-backed woodpecker chicks but they still are drawing criticism from environmentalists.
The agency says it's making the changes at the request of the John Muir Project, a conservation group that's been fighting the logging for years.
Group director Chad Hanson has documented one nest in the path of the logging and suspects there are more in the burned forest stands where the Angora fire destroyed 250 homes in South Lake Tahoe in 2007.
Hanson says the 12-foot no-cut buffers the agency is implementing are far too small to protect one of the rarest birds in the Sierra Nevada. He says 60 acres is the bare minimum the chicks will need to survive.