Group filing suit to halt Mud Creek Project

The Center for Biological Diversity, a national nonprofit conservation organization, filed a formal notice on Thursday, Aug. 17 of its intent to sue the U.S. Forest Service over its approval of the 48,486-acre Mud Creek Project on the Bitterroot National Forest southwest of Darby.

The group claims that the Forest Service approved the timber sale without identifying the locations, timing or scope of logging units or roads. Instead, the agency will make those decisions when crews are on the ground, which inhibits analysis of potential harm to protected species and prevents public involvement, the group said in a statement released Thursday.

“Federal officials approved this destructive logging project without fully considering its harm to the Bitterroots’ animals and plants, including threatened species,” said Kristine Akland, Northern Rockies director and senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Bull trout are teetering on the edge of extinction and this project could wipe them out entirely. We need to stop the bulldozers and chainsaws before it’s too late.”

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The area of the Mud Creek Project on the

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