Second lawsuit filed over South Plateau logging project

By Isabel Hicks
Helena Independent Record
December 19, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmental groups filed a new lawsuit to stop the South Plateau Landscape Area Treatment Project that would expand logging and clearcutting near West Yellowstone — arguing the project would negatively impact habitat for endangered grizzly bears. The Forest Service approved the project in August, saying it’s important for forest resilience, timber harvest and fuel reduction to mitigate wildfires. The agency’s environmental analysis found “no significant impacts” to the ecosystem. The project sets aside some 16,500 acres in the Custer Gallatin National Forest for treatment, including 5,500 acres of mature forest for clearcutting and 6,600 acres for logging over the next 15 years. The Gallatin Wildlife Association, Native Ecosystems Council and WildEarth Guardians filed the lawsuit on Monday. The Western Environmental Law Center is representing the conservation groups. A similar lawsuit was filed in the same court on Sept. 20 by the Center for Biological Diversity, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and the Council on Wildlife and Fish.

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