U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth has asked his superiors in the Agriculture Department to approve a salvage-logging plan for 46,000 acres that burned in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley last year. Assuming that Agriculture Undersecretary (and former timber lobbyist) Mark Rey okays the plan, Bosworth will have skirted the administrative appeals process to which such plans are normally subjected and essentially guaranteed that the proposal winds up in court. A number of environmental organizations have already said they would sue to overturn the plan. If the courts sided with the feds, the plan would set guidelines for the biggest post-fire recovery effort ever.

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