Timber sale killed

  A federal judge in Denver recently ordered the U.S. Forest Service to shelve a timber sale a decade in the making. Judge Lewis Babcock told the Forest Service on Nov. 17 to abandon a 240-acre timber sale at Long Draw in Colorado's Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest. He said the Forest Service illegally favored clearcutting over less-intrusive logging methods and violated federal law requiring the agency to restock harvested areas within five years of the final cut. The judge's message is clear: "No logging is permitted unless the land can quickly regenerate," says Roger Flynn, who represented three members of Ancient Forest Rescue in the suit. Flynn calls the decision a precedent that should now apply to much of the West where high altitude or dry conditions make quick forest regrowth a problem. The decision comes after a 10-year battle by opponents of the sale. Forest Service attorney Robert Clark says the Forest Service is considering appealing the ruling.