"A federal judge has dealt a potentially fatal blow to what would’ve been the largest timber sales in Tongass National Forest in decades.
The court challenge ends the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to open up 24,000 acres of old growth forest on Prince of Wales Island to commercial logging. It also halts road building for the 15-year project.
Conservationists had successfully blocked the federal government’s attempt at pre-clearing large amounts of timber for sale without identifying the specific areas where the logging would actually occur.
But after the Forest Service argued throwing out the entire project would harm what’s left of Southeast Alaska’s timber industry, Judge Sharon L. Gleason gave both sides a final chance to make a case for and against allowing the agency to correct deficiencies in its review and move forward."
Jacob Resneck reports for KRBD/CoastAlaska June 24, 2020.