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Hungry Ridge and End of the World logging projects

The Hungry Ridge project and the End of the World project are two nearly adjacent logging projects separated by a strip of land currently being logged under an earlier Forest Service-approved project, the Doc Denny logging project.

A mature forest in a helicopter logging unit. Hungry Ridge Project area, Katie Bilodeau photo.

***MARCH 21, 2023 UPDATE and CALL TO ACTION***                            

Map of Hungry Ridge and End of the World logging-project areas, courtesy of Advocates for the West

On March 10, 2023, the Forest Service released a comment period for a supplemental environmental impact statement for its new analysis for old growth and opened a 45-day public comment period. This month, the Forest Service declared that they have corrected their old-growth inventory, in the process discovering roughly 2,000 more acres of old growth than previously recognized, with 3,500 additional acres the agency would evolve into old growth in the next few decades. This is documented in the March 2023 Hungry Ridge Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS), now out for public comment until April 24.

However, the public cannot check whether the Forest Service’s statements are true or accurate during the comment period the Forest Service provided! Now through April 24, the project will still be under winter snows, making it impossible for the public to access and evaluate the Forest Service’s claims. Because the Forest Service previously misrepresented old-growth in project area, the public cannot simply trust the accuracy of the new old-growth inventory.

For the public to have a meaningful chance to comment, the public needs a meaningful chance to review–a meaningful chance means field reconnaissance, which translates to after the snow melts.

Tell Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert that a comment period when the project area is inaccessible is unacceptable. Ask her to extend the official comment period into the fall, so the public may verify whether the Forest Service is complying with the Nez Perce Forest Plan and the Court’s order. Please edit to personalize the request using the form below.

Hungry Ridge SEIS--Extend Project Deadline!

Dear Supervisor Probert

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31 signatures

Don’t forget to bcc yourself. If you see that you got the message, you’ll know the forest supervisor did, too!

ABOUT THE PROJECTS

The Hungry Ridge and End of the World logging projects together would sell 317 million board feet of timber off of the public’s forest in an area over 40 square miles. That’s over 52,000 trucks hauling away trees over the course of ten years. These projects would log illegal amounts of old growth and will log in degraded watersheds, further impacting steelhead after one of the hottest summers on record. The projects authorized supersized clearcuts, contributing to the increasing trend that of more and bigger clearcuts across the region (see FOC’s The Clearcut Kings: The US Forest Service Northern Region and its obsession with supersized clearcuts). The Forest Service’s analysis in the Hungry Ridge and End of the World projects diminished or ignored the projects’ impacts to sensitive species like the fisher (a Region 1 sensitive species) and the grizzly (listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act).

As a last resort, FOC brought suit, represented by Advocates for the West, and we won! The Court found that the Forest Service acted unlawfully because it failed to accurately identify old growth using aerial photos and field reconnaissance, and used the wrong criteria for identifying old growth in the project area, so the proposed logging of old growth violated the Nez Perce National Forest Forest Plan. The Court ordered the Forest Service to go back and properly identify old growth. Read the decision decision here.