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Agencies Seek End To Forest Rulings In Arizona, New Mexico


Federal agencies have filed opinions for national forests in Arizona and New Mexico and have asked a judge to dismiss the court’s previous ruling on timber management activities on Mexican Spotted Owl habitat land.

A U.S. district court in Arizona imposed a forest use injunction limiting timber activities such as tree-cutting, gathering fuel wood and controlled burns until effects on the threatened spotted owl species were determined.

The injunction was imposed in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona and five national forests in New Mexico.

Federal and state lawmakers, firewood vendors, forest thinning contractors and others have objected to the ruling saying they rely on firewood to heat their homes in the winter. The Albuquerque Journal reports those opinions were filed Friday in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service claiming the conditions that necessitated the injunction are no longer present, according to officials.

An environmental group that sued federal agencies for failure to monitor the bird populations has opposed the motion and believes the agencies should start over again on plans to protect the habitat of the Mexican Spotted Owl.

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