EPIC v. Blackwell, et. al. (Divide Auger: Ancient Forests in the Yolla Bollys)

EPIC v. Blackwell, et. al. (Divide Auger: Ancient Forests in the Yolla Bollys)


Case Number: C-03-4396 EMC

A federal judge handed down a 65-page ruling on October 13, 2004 that strikes down a plan to cut ancient forests next to the Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. The Court held that the U.S. Forest Service (FS) failed to properly analyze environmental impacts to wildlife dependent on these ancient forests for their survival, failed to provide a key biological document for public review, and failed to use sound science to protect the viability of wildlife.

EPIC filed the lawsuit in September 2003 to challenge the Divide Auger timber sale, which was located in the Mendocino National Forest in the headwaters of the Thomes Creek watershed, one of the only remaining free-flowing tributaries to the Sacramento River. The timber sale would have removed more than 700 truckloads of old growth and mature trees from more than 21 separate logging units, including ancient forests that connect the Yolla Bolly Wilderness and a designated old growth forest reserve. The Divide Auger Timber Sale showed the true nature of the Bush Administration’s plans for the management of our public forestlands, targeting large, fire-resistant trees many miles from any community.

Update: The USFS has returned to the Divide Auger, seeking soon to meet timber targets with an outmoded focus on silviculture.