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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Conservation groups sue to stop Forest Service Mud Creek project

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author Mark Moran, Producer-Editor

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Thursday, January 18, 2024   

Montana environmental groups have filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service to stop a large logging project in the Bitterroot National Forest.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies contended the project threatens species habitat and clean water. As part of the Mud Creek project, the Forest Service would bulldoze 43 miles of new roads into the Bitterroot, burn more than 40,000 acres, carve a 2.5 mile-long trail for motorized vehicles into the forest, and log almost 14,000 acres, 4,800 of which would be clear-cut.

Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said the Mud Creek project would devastate the affected section of the Bitterroot in northwest Montana.

"The name of the project said it all: Mud Creek," Garrity explained. "This watershed is bull trout critical habitat, so bulldozing in all these new roads and clear-cutting this many acres means sediment from these roads, combined with runoff from the logging and burning, will flow into streams."

The Forest Service contended the project will reduce potential fire severity and improve wildlife habitat.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies is suing the Forest Service under the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the government to do an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement before creating projects like Mud Creek.

Garrity argued the Forest Service didn't follow the laws.

"They're not telling the public where or when they're going to log or burn," Garrity emphasized. "The public has no idea how much it will affect streams with bull trout in them, or how many old-growth forests will be cut down."

The suit awaits action in federal court.

Disclosure: The Alliance for the Wild Rockies contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species and Wildlife, and the Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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