Colorado: Forest Service slows logging by being too streamlined for Court Approval

SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service must redo environmental
studies for logging on about 800 acres in the “red zone” around
Wildernest because of legal wranglings over the disputed roadless rule
The projects were approved under a streamlined approval process that
was subsequently voided by a federal judge in California after a
lawsuit by environmental groups. “We still have a number of tools
available under which we may accomplish the work, but it’s going to
take a little longer,” said Jan Cutts, Dillon District Ranger.

agency will be conducting an environmental assessment under the
Healthy Forest Restoration Act authority and plans to have a decision
before summer, Cutts said. A third of the fuel-reduction projects on
the 800 acres already are under contract with private companies. “We
are making every effort to take the extra steps necessary as quickly
as possible to minimize disruption of important defensible-space work
under way on the ground,” Cutts said. “This work is important to
community protection and has tremendous public support.”

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