Court again halts use of logging ‘exclusions’

Posted: Mar 25, 2012

Written by

EVE BYRON, Helena Independent Record
Logging

A California federal court judge once again has halted the Forest Service’s use of “categorical exclusions,” which allowed decisions to be made on small projects without public notice, comment or appeal. Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill ruled that the use of the exclusions violates the Appeals Reform Act, which was passed by Congress in 1992 to ensure the public’s voice is heard before decisions are made.

The lawsuit was filed by the environmental group Sequoia Forestkeeper, which works to protect ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The impact of the nationwide injunction prohibiting the exclusions — commonly referred to as CEs — isn’t known at this point, according to Phil Sammon, a spokesman for the Forest Service’s Region 1 in Missoula.

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