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Federal agency hit with lawsuits over land plan for Oregon

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The federal government is already facing two lawsuits over its plan to manage about 2.5 million acres of land in western Oregon that would increase the potential timber harvest by an estimated 37 percent.

The Statesman Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/2baidqt ) the American Forest Resource Council and Earth Justice have both filed suits against the Bureau of Land Management since the plan was enacted Friday.

The BLM estimates 278 million board feet per year could be harvested once the plan is fully implemented. It also predicts it’ll increase job growth, tourism and recreation.

The council claims the logging levels laid out in the plan are still too low, while environmentalists cite concerns over threatened species, such as the Northern Spotted Owl.

Levy said the BLM doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com