Minnesota: Loggers win, enviros lose in Superior NF court case

In a ruling released Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz
dismissed the environmental groups’ claims that Superior Forest
officials had violated the National Environmental Policy Act in
developing the long-term forest plan in 2004. In the suit, filed in
August 2006, the groups contended that the forest plan does not
adequately consider the effects of nearby logging and other forest
activities on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The groups
also claimed the Forest Service used flawed data regarding roads and
trails for the plan. Other plaintiffs in the suit were Friends of the
Boundary Waters Wilderness, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
and Defenders of Wildlife. “We’re very pleased with the ruling.

ThisĀ  allows us to continue operating under our forest plan without
re-working it,” Jim Sanders, supervisor of the Superior National
Forest, said Wednesday. “It confirms the work we did in the plan to
understand the effects [of forest management] on the Boundary
Waters.” Wayne Brandt, executive vice president of the Minnesota
Timber Producers Association and Minnesota Forest Industries, which
entered the suit to defend the Forest Service plan, said the ruling
reiterates that the BWCAW “continues to be properly protected” and
that roads and trails in other parts of the national forest also are
“appropriately managed.

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