On June 21 in Eastern Washington, a district court determined that the U.S. Forest Service’s 2019 Forest Plan and the proposed action under it, the Sanpoil Project, were in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act. The Forest Service failed to adequately assess the environmental impact of their project in Eastern WA’s Colville National Forest.
This decision marks progress toward a return to sustainable and cooperative practices after logging standards were loosened in 2019 by the Forest Service. The Kettle Range Conservation Group fought hard to protect old-growth trees and wildlife species in their local forest. Old-growth forests serve as critical habitat for many species in addition to their role in carbon sequestration and should be protected. It is critical that standards are tightened to continue this work at the national level.