Appeals court halts logging project in SW Montana
HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has issued an order blocking logging on about 1,600 acres of burned forest in southwestern Montana. U.S. Forest Service officials say most of the work has already been done.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ordered a preliminary injunction against the Rat Creek Salvage Project in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
The project calls for harvesting trees that have died or are likely to die as a result of a 2007 fire, or due to insect attack.
In a lawsuit filed last July, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council said forest managers underestimated potential environmental damage.
Forest service spokeswoman Leona Rodreik says her agency is disappointed in the decision, but that 85 percent of the 1,652 acres have been logged already.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.