Forest Service nixes timber cut in N. Idaho forest

Capital Press

Posted 3/16/2011

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Federal forest officials say they have withdrawn a proposed timber sale that included some clear-cutting in northern Idaho's St. Joe River basin.

The U.S. Forest Service, however, intends to pursue the sale again after doing some additional study on the impact the timber harvest could have on birds and other key species in old-growth habitat.

The 2,100-acre harvest near Clarkia was challenged in the courts by The Lands Council of Spokane, and in August a federal judge halted the sale.

The forest service had appealed that decision, but the Spokesman-Review reports the agency pulled back after a separate court ruling in Montana required forest officials there to revamp a grazing plan to include effects on wildlife.

Forest officials said the sale and clear cuts would have mimicked natural wild fires.