by Sonya Angelica Diehn
(CN) – A U.S. Forest Service logging plan will harm threatened grizzly bears in Montana’s Flathead National Forest, three environmental groups say. The logging plan reopens portions of a closed road and keeps intact 10 culverts that were supposed to be decommissioned because they harm stream habitat, according to the complaint.
The Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan and Alliance for the Wild Rockies say the Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service blew off their request for information and involvement in retooling the Moose Post-Fire Project, after the 9th Circuit remanded the plan to the Forest Service.
The logging plan abandons standards for road closures and “jeopardizes the continued existence” of the bears, the groups say. The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is an omnivore that often feeds upon fish. While male grizzlies can reach 1,000 pounds; females are typically one-third smaller. Their brown fur is tipped with silver – the origin of the name “grizzly.”
Represented by Jack Tuholske in Missoula Federal Court, the groups seek removal of the offending culverts.