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Conservation groups challenge USFS logging plan that could take down old-growth trees on Arizona’s Kaibab Plateau

Ancient ponderosa pines marked for logging in the Kaibab National Forest. PHOTO COURTESY CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY.

Conservation groups have blocked similar logging plans twice before

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — For all the talk of restoration and ecoystem protection, the U.S. Forest Service sometimes still seems intent on logging old-growth timber. Sparking the latest showdown, the agency in January approved a 25,000-acre timber sale in the Kaibab National Forest, near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Conservation groups challenging the project say it could harm rare, threatened species like northern goshawks. A source population of goshawks lives on the Kaibab Plateau. According to a Forest Service report, goshawks are “vulnerable to extirpation or extinction in Arizona.”

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club have appealed the timber sale for the third time in a decade. The Forest Service has tried five different variations of the timber sale. Two were blocked by appeals and litigation, while the Forest Service withdrew the other two previous proposals. Continue reading

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Opinion: Arizona sheriff streeee-eetches the truth

Local official claims national forest road plan is a “takings”

A legal road on the Kaibab National Forest leads to this lookout spot on the rim of the Grand Canyon near the Saddle Mountain wilderness area. PHOTO COURTESY LEIGH WADDEN.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — About 25,000 miles of roads in Arizona’s Coconino County apparently aren’t enough for some people, including the local sheriff, who recently accused the U.S. Forest Service of a “takings” by implementing a new travel management plan.

His letter to state and federal legislators stretches the concept of takings beyond any known meaning; it’s hard to imagine how the Forest Service — which manages lands on behalf of the public — could possibly “take” land from that very same public. Continue reading

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