Judge stays logging in burned area a week | TheUnion.com

Judge stays logging in burned area a week

The Star Fire burned for a month last fall on 16,600 acres near the middle fork of the American River.

Cedar Ridge environmentalist Chad Hanson doesn’t think there should be salvage logging of any fire-damaged trees – dead or alive – more than 20 inches in diameter at chest height on national forest land burned by the fire. Hanson said spotted owls could use the tree snags for roosting or nesting.

Hanson’s environmental group, The John Muir Project, helped persuade U.S. Judge Morrison England to issue a one-week restraining order Tuesday preventing salvage logging of trees with any green foliage in the El Dorado National Forest portion of the Star Fire.

Now Hanson will make his case Oct. 8 before England.

Frank Mossbacher, spokesman for the El Dorado National Forest, said he can’t comment about specific lawsuits.

But Mossbacher said Forest Service officials have already approved environmental documentation for the project. Salvage logging of dead trees is necessary to reduce fire danger and prepare the area for future prescribed burning, Mossbacher said.

“We have to get the forest in (shape) where we can reintroduce prescribed fire. That’s our goal,” he said.

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