Timber Sales Get the Ax
The feds broke the law when they awarded nine timber contracts in the Northwest that failed to protect rare and endangered species as stipulated under the Northwest Forest Plan, a federal judge ruled yesterday. The judge — the same one who halted timber sales over the northern spotted owl — sided with 13 enviro groups and blocked the nine sales, which encompass hundreds of acres of old-growth forests in western Washington, western Oregon, and northwest California. The ruling eventually could be applied to about 100 timber sales on federal land, temporarily shutting down a significant proportion of logging on federal land west of the Cascade mountains. The decision is a setback for the Clinton administration and a major victory for enviros.