Gosar Statement on Reopening of Forest Management Projects in the Tonto National Forest

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Washington, July 24, 2020 | Doug Levine (202-225-2315) | comments

Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) made the following statement after the United States District Court for the District of Arizona modified an injunction stemming from an ongoing lawsuit regarding Mexican Spotted Owl habitat. This modification will allow eight forest management projects in the Tonto National Forest to resume work. 

“Today’s announcement by the Forest Service that the courts will allow some forest management projects to move forward is welcome news to all Arizonans. Already this season we have seen what damage dangerous fires can do to our forests, while managing these fires has been made even more difficult by the ongoing challenge of COVID-19. Fires burn habitat for all species, regardless of their protected status. The fact that we must beg and plead the courts for the chance to clean our forests, to protect against the habitat and life threatening disaster that is a forest fire, is a direct result of lawsuits from radical environmental groups. We must speed up efforts to clean our forests to make our forests healthier and safer. These actions will protect habitat, will protect species and will save human lives.”

Background: 

On September 20, 2019 the U.S. District Court halted forest management activities in 6 national forests in Arizona and New Mexico, including the Tonto National Forest. The court order stated its belief that the Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had not adequately taken into consideration the habitat of the Mexican Spotted Owl when awarding forest management projects. 

The list of projects that can resume can be seen HERE on attachment 1 and attachment 2 of the document. 

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