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Advocacy groups say Crystal Creek Restoration sale would require 36 miles of roads, damaging environment and threatening endangered species.

COURTESY BARK - Bark volunteers measure a hemlock tree in the proposed Crystal Creek Restoration Area in Mount Hood National Forest. Environmental advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit Monday, Sept. 10, to challenge the proposed Crystal Clear Restoration timber sale in the Mount Hood National Forest.

The proposed timber sale, the most extensive on Mt. Hood in more than a decade, would include 7,498 acres of commercial logging on the eastern shoulder of the forest near White River, including 3,494 acres of mature and old-growth forest.

Groups including Bark, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, and WildEarth Guardians contend the 11,000-plus acre sale threatens endangered species habitat and increases fire hazards.

The lawsuit, filed in the Federal Court for the District of Oregon, notes that 36 miles of roads would be built, and old-growth trees that are resilient to fires would be cut.

COURTESY OF BARK - A stand of trees in the proposed Crystal Creek Restoration Area, slated for a big timber sale. "Forest roads bleed sediment into rivers and streams, split apart wildlife habitat, create barriers to migration, and invite invasive species. There is no way the agency needs all of the hundreds of miles of roads in the project area," said Marla Fox, attorney for WildEarth Guardians said in a prepared statement. "Removing and rehabilitating unneeded roads would improve watershed health and habitat connectivity, but the Forest Service did not prioritize this type of real restoration work."

"The Forest Service has failed to explain why it is choosing to conduct extensive logging that will transfer thousands of tons of greenhouse gases from the forest to the atmosphere and make climate change worse, when sound forest conservation could actually be part of the solution." stated Doug Heiken of Oregon Wild..

The timber sale amounts to roughly double the recent annual amounts of timber-cutting in the forest.

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