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Judge Halts Logging Projects Over Threat to Bears

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A federal judge has blocked three logging projects in the Kootenai National Forest over claims they would harm the area’s endangered grizzly bear population.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed the lawsuit in November to stop the projects meant to reduce fire danger and provide commercial logging opportunities.

The environmental group says 14 miles of proposed new logging roads could harm the approximately 45 grizzlies in the Cabinet-Yaak area. The federal government’s recovery goal is at least 100 grizzly bears in the region.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on Tuesday ordered the projects halted until the U.S. Forest Service addresses what he called deficiencies in the projects.

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