The recent discovery of Oregon's wandering wolf, known as OR-7, and his new pups is one reason a conservation group filed a lawsuit against a logging project near Crater Lake National Forest. Oregon Wild filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service in District Court in Medford Wednesday.
The Bybee Timber Sale is located on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. John Mellgren, staff attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center, represents the plaintiff. He says the timber sale is in a mostly roadless area that could be designated as wilderness, but not if logging roads are constructed. He adds, the environmental analysis was done before the gray wolf and his pups entered the area.
Mellgren: "Through the lawsuit we hope to get the court to order the Forest Service to redo its environmental analysis, to consider the effects on wolves in the project area and to also remove all of the roadless areas from the proposal so that we aren't logging some of the last remaining stretches of wilderness in Oregon."
Mellgren says the forest land is also home to the Northern Spotted Owl. The Forest Service says the timber harvest will increase the overall forest health, reduce wildfire risk, and create jobs and boost the local economy.