Groups Sue to Stop Salvage Logging in Southwest Montana

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to block logging on more than 1,600 acres of national forest in an area of southwestern Montana burned in a 20007 fire.

The Rat Creek salvage timber sale, approved last week, would generate up to 2.7 million cubic feet of lumber from dead or dying trees in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

In a lawsuit filed July 24, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council say forest managers are underestimating the environmental damage that could result from logging.

Forest officials say the project would include only six percent of the lands burned in the 2007 fire and would leave standing most trees larger than 15 inches in diameter.

The case is before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.