by The Associated Press
Boise, Idaho – The U.S. Forest Service settled a lawsuit by environmentalists fighting a proposed timber sale near the central Idaho town of Salmon by agreeing to scale back logging that was meant to reduce fuels.
In May, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies won an order from U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge to halt the Salmon National Forest’s Moose Creek timber sale, which had been approved in 2006.
According to the pact signed this week, work will now be limited to timber cutting in several areas that a local logger had purchased before the lawsuit was filed in 2007.
The Salmon National Forest also agreed to apply heightened scrutiny to future commercial logging operations — until it updates the plan it uses to manage its territory.
The Forest Service also must pay the environmental group’s $23,000 legal bill.