(Jun 28, 2007)

US Forest Service stops plan to sell timber in national forest

From AP

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday it was ending a plan to sell timber in a Kentucky national forest and would consider environmental groups' objections if the project is taken up in the future.

Besides logging, the plan would have allowed building or refurbishing more than 20 miles of roads in part of the Daniel Boone National Forest in southeastern Kentucky.

Environmental groups appealed in May and asked for a fuller environmental impact test and more time for public input.

''While I still believe strongly that the project is valid ... I have elected to withdraw my decision,'' Forest Supervisor Jerome Perez said.

The Forest Service said the project was intended to improve water quality and wildlife diversity in the Redbird district, which spreads over six counties. It also included a habitat management area for ruffed grouse and grassy openings for foraging animals.

Kentucky Heartwood, an environmental group based in Morehead, said in its appeal that the plan would involve timber sales on more than 1,400 acres, the use of herbicides and cutting or burning on 12,500 acres of forest.

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