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FYI-

I though this might be of interest to others. Interesting that the suit is brought to protect salmon from logging steep slide prone slopes.

Conservationists Say Oregon Forest Rule Violates Federal Law

SEATTLE, Washington, April 18, 2003 (ENS) - A coalition of conservationists
and fishing groups believe the Oregon Board of Forestry's amendment of the
state's forest practice rules violates the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
And on Thursday, this coalition of five conservation and fishing groups
notified members of the Oregon Board of Forestry they could be sued for
violating the ESA.
"The board has left us no choice but to bring them into this," said Sybil
Ackerman of the Audubon Society of Portland. "It is sad and frustrating that
we must go to such great lengths to gain real protection for Oregon's wild
salmon."
The controversy stems from a rule change enacted by the Oregon Board of
Forestry on January 27, 2003, when the board amended the forest practice
rules to eliminate the state forester's "prior approval" of forest harvest
operations on high landslide hazard areas.
State officials said the amended rule maintained all environmental
protection standards for those areas, but explained that under the changes,
the state forester's approval does not necessarily mean the operation
complies with the ESA.
According to the Oregon Board of Forestry, the change strengthens the rule
by making it clear that the operator has the ultimate responsibility to meet
the environmental protection standards of state forest practice rule. a more
effective regulation by making responsibilities clear.
But the coalition believes the rule change amounts to a blanket
authorization of all logging on landslide prone sites that meet current
standards, regardless of the risk to federally protected coho salmon.
Landslides caused from logging on steep hillsides can dump sediment into
salmon spawning streams.
The conservation and fishing groups say the board members each share federal
liability with Oregon's State Forester for harmful logging authorized under
the state's forest practice rules.
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[ 04-20-2003, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: V. Green ]
 
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