HELENA — A federal appeals court won’t halt two logging and burning projects by the U.S. Forest Service on either side of the South Fork of the Flathead River.
A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday the Forest Service did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in analyzing the projects’ combined effects on threatened lynx, grizzly bears and fisheries.
The three-judge panel denied two environmental groups’ request for an injunction, saying there is no immediate risk that would justify blocking the projects.
Both projects are in the Flathead National Forest. The Soldier Addition Project as initially proposed in 2008 would burn, log or thin more than 3,200 acres.
The Forest Service proposed the 3,200-acre Spotted Bear Project on the other side of the river a year later.
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