(publishedby the Society of American Foresters, 8 January 2002)
A federal judge issued a court order barring the USDA Forest Service from harvesting thousands of acres of burned timber from the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, saying the agency had violated its own rules in approving the plan. US District Judge Donald Molloy said January 8 the decision to bypass an internal Forest Service appeals process was illegal and violated the public’s right to be involved in the decisionmaking process. The Forest Service maintains its proposal to harvest in the Bitteroot is an effort to restore the forest. Logging roads would be closed, trees replanted, and the dead trees-a potential fuel source for future blazes-would be removed.