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Bybee timber sale lawsuit is still in progress

I read a story in June about the Bybee timber sale near Crater Lake being challenged in court by environmentalists. They said the logging and thinning would disrupt the wolf OR-7, who apparently has a den in the area with his cubs and mate. What's the status of the case?

 — Jill S., via email

The case is still pending, Jill, but the last update you read must have been the June 20 article by The Associated Press.

A little has happened since then. On Aug. 22, the U.S. Forest Service, which is being sued by Oregon Wild, responded to the group's complaint.

The Forest Service says the wolf den is not situated in the area of the Bybee timber sale and it has considered the impacts of the sale on the den, though not officially in the environmental impact statement.

However, if you remember, Oregon Wild's complaint also asks a judge to order a closer examination of the harm the logging may do to potential wilderness and spotted owl habitat.

Regarding those claims, the Forest Service considers most of Oregon Wild's concerns moot, but ultimately a judge will decide.

The first of what surely will be a series of oral arguments is set for March 25, 2015, in Medford before U.S. District Judge Owen M. Panner.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.