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Court Tosses Deal Over Rare Forest Species

A federal appeals court has thrown out an agreement between environmentalists and the federal government that restored protections for rare species in old growth forests.

Michael Clapp/OPB

The Thursday ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a victory for the timber industry, which was shut out of talks leading to the agreement. The appeals court found that such a significant change in forest management has to go through a public process.

The ruling is the latest in long-running court battles over the Northwest Forest Plan, which cut logging by 90 percent on Northwest national forests to protect fish and wildlife.

Federal agencies had proposed throwing out a provision known as Survey and Manage, which required them to look for 400 species of rare plants and animals before logging.

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