Judge finds logging plan withdrawn illegally

GRANTS PASS — A federal judge has told the Obama administration it has to go through a public comment period before it can yank the Bush administration's controversial plan to double the amount of logging on federal forests in Western Oregon.

The ruling Thursday does not revive the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Western Oregon Plan Revision, popularly known by the acronym WOPR.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pulled it in 2009 because the Bush administration had failed to have it reviewed for endangered species impacts — and it still would have to pass muster over potential harm to salmon and northern spotted owls.

Bob Ragon of Douglas Timber Operators, which filed the lawsuit, says the Obama administration should go through that review step before making a decision.

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