Environmentalists Win Order To Protect|24 Million Acres From Ag Secretary

     SEATTLE (CN) – A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order halting grazing and hay production on 24 million acres of land in the Conservation Reserve Program. The National Wildlife Federation sued to stop the Secretary of Agriculture from opening the protected lands without an environmental assessment.

     U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour found that the plaintiffs “have clearly shown” that the secretary’s May decision to authorize haying and grazing could cause irreparable harm to wildlife habitat.
     The order will be in force until the court rules on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, which is scheduled for Friday.

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