Judge OKs logging project in Umpqua National Forest

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request by environmental groups to halt a 500-acre (200-hectare) logging project in western Oregon.

The Capital Press reports in a story on Thursday that U.S. District Judge Michael McShane denied the request for a preliminary injunction of the logging project in the Umpqua National Forest.

Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild and Benton Forest Coalition in a lawsuit filed earlier this year contended the U.S. Forest Service violated environmental laws by not doing another environmental analysis after additional red tree vole nests were found.

But U.S. District Judge Michael McShane says requiring additional public comment each time more nests are found would lead to a never-ending process.

The voles are a protected species, but the Forest Service says the logging is in a non-high priority area for the species.