Obama Administration Scraps Bush Logging Plan

July 16, 2009 - 3:51 PM
The Obama administration is withdrawing the Bush administration's last attempt at increasing logging in Northwest forests occupied by northern spotted owls and salmon.
Grants Pass, Ore. (AP) - The Obama administration is withdrawing the Bush administration's last attempt at increasing logging in Northwest forests occupied by northern spotted owls and salmon.
 
Assistant Interior Secretary Ned Farquhar told a conference call of attorneys Thursday that they had determined the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's decision not to consult federal biologists over the logging's effects on spotted owls and salmon violated the Endangered Species Act.
 
Parties to the conference call said the Department of Interior will seek dismissal of the four lawsuits challenging the logging increase.
 
The BLM sought to increase timber production in western Oregon and increase revenues for rural Oregon counties still hurting from logging cutbacks.
 
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was scheduled to discuss the decision in a teleconference.