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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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