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Environmentalists file suit over timber sale

GRANTS PASS — Conservation groups are challenging a timber sale that demonstrates the kind of ecosystem-driven logging that would be fast-tracked under Sen. Ron Wyden's bill to increase harvests from the so-called O&C lands in Western Oregon.

Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands filed the lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Eugene.

Tree sitters have been occupying the White Castle timber sale on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Roseburg District since last summer.

The lawsuit alleges BLM failed to follow environmental laws requiring a hard look at the potential environmental impacts of the sale, including clearcutting trees up to 150 years old, and destruction of northern spotted owl habitat.

BLM had no comment.

The sale is the second federal pilot project demonstrating logging designed to improve forest health while producing timber.

— Jeff Barnard, Associated Press