Forest Service defends timber harvest

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(Host) The U.S. Forest Service says environmentalists are wrong to criticize a planned timber sale in the Green Mountain National Forest. On Tuesday, three environmental groups sued to stop a plan to harvest a million board feet of timber in the towns of Rochester and Chittenden.

The groups say the area should be protected because it includes sensitive streams and recreation areas. But Steve Kimball, the district ranger at the Forest Service, says the logging will improve wildlife habitat and will have minimum impact on recreation.

(Kimball) “And we’ve, I think, have really done a good job of creating basically a model sale that others would be proud of, and that others could actually use in terms of low impact, wildlife-oriented logging. And we’re really confident that this a good project and that this is going to bring the area to where it needs to be, in terms of the landscape conditions we think are important.”

(Host) The logging job will involve 300 acres. But Kimball says it’s a selective harvest and that loggers will create openings in the woods for wildlife. Kimball says the suit is part of a broader strategy to halt timber harvesting on national forestland.

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