Guardians and allies filed suit today challenging a massive U.S. Forest Service timber sale on Mt. Hood. The so-called “Crystal Clear Restoration project” is the largest timber sale planned on Mt. Hood in more than a decade.
The Service proposes to build 36 miles of roads and to remove fire-resilient mature and old-growth trees under the guise that conditions in the project area could generate “uncharacteristic wildfire”—a claim that lacks scientific support. Removing trees increases wildfire frequency and severity, while forest roads bleed sediment into waters, split apart wildlife habitat, create barriers to migration, and invite invasive species.
The Forest Service also failed to analyze how this project would affect endangered species in the area. These include the northern spotted owl and the newly discovered White River pack of gray wolves—the first gray wolves confirmed in the area in 70 years.