Environmental groups target U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Proposed timber sales in Oregon have environmental groups taking on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in federal court. Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands claim the sales do not meet the standards set forth in federal environmental regulations.

Prior to filing the environmental litigation, environmental groups filed formal protests against several timber sales. However, all of the protests were denied, which forced the three environmental groups to turn to the courts for a resolution.

One of the lawsuits asks the federal court to stop the Bureau of Land Management from selling timber in the Conde Creek Drainage area until the bureau conducts a more in-depth analysis of the logging's effect on the environment. Conde Creek Drainage is located northwest of Howard Prairie Lake near Ashland, Oregon.

The environmental groups are arguing that logging in that area will put salmon populations in danger and may also affect the habitat of the northern spotted owl, which is an endangered species.

On June 29, 2012, the three environmental organizations sued the Bureau of Land Management to try to block the sale of timber in three sections of the Rio Climax Forest Management Project. The areas potentially contain enough timber to create about 2.5 million feet of boards.

The environmental groups do not want to see trees with a diameter of more than 30 inches cut down. They are also concerned about the constructing new roads through the forests.

These suits are in addition to two other lawsuits filed earlier in 2012 to stop a timber sale near Jenny Creek and another sale near Table Mountain.

While the environmentalists want to block the sales, a spokesman for the Medford Bureau of Land Management says he is confident the projects follow environmental laws and regulations. He says the projects will create jobs at local timber mills.

Now a federal judge will have to determine whether or not the sale of the timber can go through, or whether the environmental groups are correct that the Bureau of Land Management needs to take a closer look at the logging projects' potential environmental impact.

Environmental laws regulate landowners and other individuals or groups during various issues such as; Clean Water Act, zoning and land use regulations, natural resource damage, wetlands regulations and several other subject matters. If you are involved in an environmental lawsuit, it is important to find an attorney who has experience in such matters.

Source: The Bulletin, "Suit seeks to halt Southern Oregon timber projects," Sept. 3, 2012

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