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Press Release

Attorney General Welcomes 9th Circuit Decision Upholding the Logjam Timber Project

October 28, 2011

Juneau, Alaska - Attorney General John Burns today welcomed the news that the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed Judge Timothy Burgess's U.S. District Court decision upholding the "Logjam" timber project.

The State intervened in this lawsuit brought by Tongass Conservation Society, Greenpeace, and Cascadia Wildlands, seeking to stop U.S. Forest Service ("Forest Service") timber sales associated with the "Logjam" project. The project authorized the logging of 3,422 acres of forest, and the construction of five miles of permanent roads and 17 miles of temporary roads in the Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.

In its decision today, the 9th Circuit found that the U.S. District Court properly granted summary judgment to the Forest Service. The 9th Circuit, summarily rejecting the plaintiffs' arguments, held that the plaintiffs failed to show that the Final Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act was flawed, or that the Forest Service failed to take the requisite "hard look" at the environmental consequences of the Logjam Project.

At stake was the future of the Viking Lumber Co., a family-owned small business that has been one of the largest year-round employers on state were at risk. Without the "Logjam" timber sales that were given final approval under this ruling, Viking Lumber Co., the only mid-sized mill operating in Southeast, would not have had enough timber to continue operations and the economies of several Alaskan communities would have been negatively impacted.

For further information, contact Assistant Attorney General Vanessa Lamantia, (907) 465-3600.

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