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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Conservation groups sue to stop Forest Service Mud Creek project

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Thursday, January 18, 2024   

Montana environmental groups have filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service to stop a large logging project in the Bitterroot National Forest.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies contended the project threatens species habitat and clean water. As part of the Mud Creek project, the Forest Service would bulldoze 43 miles of new roads into the Bitterroot, burn more than 40,000 acres, carve a 2.5 mile-long trail for motorized vehicles into the forest, and log almost 14,000 acres, 4,800 of which would be clear-cut.

Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said the Mud Creek project would devastate the affected section of the Bitterroot in northwest Montana.

"The name of the project said it all: Mud Creek," Garrity explained. "This watershed is bull trout critical habitat, so bulldozing in all these new roads and clear-cutting this many acres means sediment from these roads, combined with runoff from the logging and burning, will flow into streams."

The Forest Service contended the project will reduce potential fire severity and improve wildlife habitat.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies is suing the Forest Service under the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the government to do an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement before creating projects like Mud Creek.

Garrity argued the Forest Service didn't follow the laws.

"They're not telling the public where or when they're going to log or burn," Garrity emphasized. "The public has no idea how much it will affect streams with bull trout in them, or how many old-growth forests will be cut down."

The suit awaits action in federal court.

Disclosure: The Alliance for the Wild Rockies contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species and Wildlife, and the Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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