"Obama Adminstration Drops Bush Logging Plan for Western Oregon"

"The Obama administration is withdrawing a controversial Bush-era logging plan for millions of acres of federal forests in western Oregon.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today the plan, put forward last December in the final days of the Bush administration, violates federal law.

The plan, called the Western Oregon Plan Revisions, 'is based on a legally-indefensible process. It will not stand up in court,' he said.

Secretary Salazar's announcement won't silence any chainsaws currently cutting in Oregon forests because no timber sales based on the logging plan have actually gone forward.

And now perhaps none will. That's a victory for conservationists and gives pause to rural Oregon counties who were hoping stepped-up logging would mean more revenue for them from federal timber receipts.

The secretary said the administration would also review the recovery plan for the northern spotted owl, and they will ask a federal court to throw out the Bush administration's revisions to habitat set aside for the endangered bird."

Matthew Preusch reports for the Portland Oregonian July 16, 2009.

See Also:

"Limits on Logging in Old-Growth Forest Reinstated" (New York Times)

"Obama Administration Scraps Bush Logging Plan" (AP)

Friday, July 17, 2009