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9th Circuit To Rehear Idaho Logging Claims

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The full 9th Circuit agreed to rehear a panel decision that halted the selective logging of 3,829 acres in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

The U.S. Forest Service proposed the Mission Brush Project to thin overcrowded forests, which can lead to insect infestations, disease and rampant wildfires. The Forest Service claimed the project would return the forests to their historical composition of open ponderosa pines and Douglas firs. In July a circuit panel granted an injunction to The Lands Council and the Wild West Institute, two environmentalist groups seeking to stop the project.

The circuit agreed to reconsider its ruling that the Forest Service failed to present adequate evidence that restoration will benefit dependent animal species, such as flammulated owls, northern goshawks and western toads. See ruling and the July panel ruling.

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