The Canada lynx - proposed but not yet listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act - has stopped a controversial timber sale in southern Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest.
Deputy Regional Forester Tom
Thompson overturned an earlier decision to allow the 1,473-acre Tie
Camp timber sale within a dense forest of lodgepole pine, spruce
and fir, high in the Sierra Madre Range, just south of Encampment,
Wyo. Thompson said the sale's environmental review didn't analyze
the area's potential as habitat for the wildcat, which may be
reintroduced in Wyoming.
The reversal came in
response to an appeal launched by Biodiversity
Friends of the Bow and 46 other
groups and individuals. But the Laramie-based organization has
mixed emotions about the decision.
it," says staffer Jeff Kessler, "but it's likely to be a hollow
victory." Kessler said the deputy regional forester threw out his
group's most crucial claim: that the Medicine Bow is already
overcut and that the sale would have entered a roadless area.
District Ranger Don Carroll says that once the lynx studies are
completed, which might be as soon as late December, the sale will
Kessler also worries about justifying
decisions to log an area on the basis of a single species' health.
He likens it to the spotted owl debate, where one bird got all the
attention, while the real issue was protecting an ecosystem. The
Biodiversity Associates staffer laments, "They're blowing off all
the other issues."