CALIFORNIA IN BRIEF : UKIAH : Judge Approves Logging Plans

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A judge ruled that logging plans already approved by the Department of Forestry are safe from the state's new spotted owl protection rules. Superior Court Judge James Luther made the ruling in lifting a temporary order barring Louisiana-Pacific Corp. from logging five acres of old-growth trees in the Navarro Ridge area near Mendocino. Luther said the new rules approved last month after the spotted owl was declared a threatened species are "inapplicable to this plan or any other plan approved prior to (the board's) decision." The judge said the state does not need to reassess logging plans already approved for their possible impact on spotted owls, but cutting can be limited if owl nesting sites are spotted. State forestry officials argued that applying the new owl rules retroactively could mean suspending 3,000 timber harvest plans covering 14 million acres of private timberland.

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