Bump in the Logging
A federal judge in Illinois has issued a nationwide ban on all timber sales that were approved during the past year without public input and environmental analysis. The decision, handed down on Friday, may delay or halt logging on more than 110,000 acres of national forest land. The judge ruled that the U.S. Forest Service’s use of a loophole called a “categorical exclusion,” which lets decisions on relatively small timber sales be made without public or environmental review, is a threat to the environment. The ruling came in a suit filed a year ago by the Indiana-based environmental group Heartwood, which argued the Forest Service expanded the exemption in 1992 in an effort to avoid conducting environmental studies.