By USDA forest Service
Last month USDA Forest Service received an order from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona stating that the agency’s “timber management” actions must cease on six national forests in Arizona and New Mexico pending formal consultation regarding potential effects to the Mexican spotted owl. The Court quickly responded to the request to modify the order and allowed the cutting and collection of fuelwood, which both the plaintiff and the Forest Service supported.
Forest Service has requested the U.S. Court for the District of Arizona either modify or further clarify its September order. Among other things, the request provides extensive information about the minimal potential impact on Mexican spotted owl of many activities that are designed to improve forest health, including stewardship contracts, timber sales, thinning and prescribed burns in specific areas, and that provide forest products such as firewood and Christmas trees to local communities.
“We are extremely grateful to our state and federal partners and countless community leaders for helping find interim solutions,” said Regional Forester Cal Joyner. The national forests affected by the court’s order remain open to the public for recreation and other activities. For the most up to date information from the Forest Service please go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r3/mso.