Black Hills Logging Decisions Head to Court
The Black Hills National Forest has a long history of logging – and a long-time dispute over how to balance logging, grazing, recreation and wildlife. That dispute is headed to court with conservation groups filing suit, accusing forest managers of neglecting wildlife habitat. John Persell, with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, says his group thought the issues had been resolved years ago under an agreement with the Chief of the Forest Service, but recent decisions don’t align with those details.
“Instead of focusing on wildlife viability, essentially the forest plan, as amended, ramps up logging at the expense of maintaining viable populations of species.”
Persell says the Black Hills Forest is rich with resources all owned by the public, and that the values of wildlife and recreation need more equal footing with extractive industries.
“Logging has a place in this landscape – what we’re seeking is balance to accommodate the native plant and animal species.”
Persell says Northern Goshawks, American Martens and land snails are examples of species with declining numbers due to habitat loss.