FREDONIA – A federal judge this week struck down a lawsuit contending the U.S. Forest Service unlawfully approved a plan to reduce forest fuels and plant trees on a northern Arizona forest.
The Warm Fire Recovery Project called for harvesting fire-killed trees on 9,000 acres of the Kaibab National Forest and replanting conifer trees on about 10,000 acres.
A 60,000-acre natural fire that grew out of control swept through the area where recovery efforts are planned in 2006.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians sued over the plan, claiming it violated several environmental laws, arguing that it would have been about as practical to buy magnolia trees and plant them there.
U.S. District Judge Frederick Martone ruled in favor of the Forest Service on Wednesday, saying it satisfied its obligations under the law.