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Montana's forest plan faces court challenge

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 19 2013 07:35:50 AM MDT
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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Wildlife advocates want a judge to reverse the federal government's approval of a permit that allows logging and road building on state lands in western Montana.
    
A lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Missoula charges that federal officials failed to consider the harm the state's proposal could have for wildlife including bull trout and grizzly bears.
    
Those species are protected under the Endangered Species Act. The plaintiffs want the government to do more to shield them from human activities.
    
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the state's forestry management plan in 2011. State officials say about 1,100 miles of new roads could be constructed under the 50-year permit.
    
The suit was filed by Friends of the Wild Swan, Montana Environmental Information Center and Natural Resources Defense Council.