A federal judge has blocked a proposed logging project on the Willamette National Forest, saying the government must first do an environmental impact statement, or EIS.
Conservation groups Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands challenged the 2,100 acre Goose Project in Eugene Federal Court.
Oregon Wild's Doug Heiken says area residents will now be able to have input on the logging plan.
"The people of McKenzie Bridge were very much caught by surprise by this project, and they really wanted to be more involved with this project, but they found out about it too late," Heiken says.
Residents collected nearly 5,000 signatures opposing the Goose Timber Sale. Heiken says if the Forest Service focuses on thinning younger stands, they won't meet as much opposition.
"They chose to log in mature forests that are habitat for spotted owls and near streams and in potential wilderness areas," Heiken says. "And if they could decide not to do those things that would help a lot. So the EIS gives them a chance to get it right this time."
Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the U.S. Forest Service erred in doing an analysis that's less demanding than an environmental impact statement.
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