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Obama Administration Backs Off Bush's Logging Plans

In a rebuke of Bush Administration environmental decisions, top Obama officials announced Thursday they're dropping plans to dramatically increase logging in western Oregon. Rob Manning reports.

The Western Oregon Plan Revision, or WOPR, intended to more than triple logging.

The revision was a response to a timber industry lawsuit, which argued the lower logging levels violated a law governing Bureau of Land Management forests in southwestern Oregon.

But BLM administrators under the Bush Administration didn't fully consult federal scientists.

Secretary Salazar told reporters that failing to consult them was illegal.

Ken Salazar: "It will not stand up in court, and if we attempted to defend it in court, it could lead to years of fruitless litigation, inaction, and uncertainty."

Salazar says the WOPR was also based on science that had been manipulated by a Bush-era official, who was forced to resign.

Short-term, the BLM hopes to find some timber sales that they can get through under Clinton-era rules.

Interior is pursuing a new plan that meets legal muster.

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