U.S. Interior Dept throws out Bush logging plan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday killed a plan issued by the Bush administration to allow more logging in western Oregon that reduced protection areas for the endangered spotted owl, saying it was "legally indefensible and must be withdrawn."
"We have carefully reviewed the lawsuits filed against the (logging plan) and it is clear that as a result of the previous administration's late actions, the plan cannot stand up in court and, if defended, could lead to years of fruitless litigation and inaction," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
This is the latest action by the Obama administration that overturns decisions issued by the Bush administration that threaten wildlife or the environment.
Salazar previously pulled federal tracks in the West that the department had leased for oil and gas drilling under Bush.
As part of Thursday's policy reversal, the department rejected a 2008 revision to the critical habitat area for the spotted owl which allowed logging areas to increase.
Salazar said the legal problems with the logging plan resulted from the previous administration's decision not to carryout a proper review of the plan's impact under the Endangered Species Act.
"We face the fallout of the previous administration's skirting of the law and efforts to taint scientific outcomes," he said.
The department wants to return the spotted owl's critical habitat area to the 6.9 million acres that had been in place since 1992 until a new designation plan is finalized.
(Reporting by Tom Doggett; Editing by Christian Wiessner)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this