A recent court decision, Alliance Wild Rockies v Farnsworth, is interesting in that the court denied a suit aimed at halting salvage logging in Montana. The conclusion of B. Lynn Winmill, Chief Judge, United States District Court, is unusual for its commentary:
In the West, fuel and climate are combining to create intense wildfires. Fuels are increasing at an alarming rate as invasive plant species spread across the landscape, while at the same time climate change is lengthening the fire season. This means burnt timber is becoming a major feature of our National Forests. If trees can be logged simply because they burned, we will reap massive clear-cuts. But small projects, fully vetted and properly designed to mitigate impacts, may be valuable in reducing hazards and funding reforestation efforts. The Tower and Grizzly Projects fit that mold. Under the particular facts of this case, the Court cannot find that Alliance has raised the serious questions necessary to obtain injunctive relief. For that reason, the Court will deny Alliance’s motion.