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Court Rebukes Bush Administration for Misrepresenting Scientists

We Want Wood

Timber companies, having pretty well razed their own lands, asked the Forest Service to triple the volume of timber they could take from the national forests in the Pacific Northwest. To do so, the agency decided to ignore the Aquatic Conservation Strategy, a portion of a management plan adopted in 1994 to protect salmon-bearing streams throughout the region.

Save Our Salmon

Conservation groups and fishing organizations represented by Earthjustice filed suit, pointing out that the Forest Service was ignoring -- and in some cases actually misrepresenting -- the advice of respected scientists inside and outside the government, saying that science supported the argument that increased logging, even on steep, unstable slopes, would not harm salmon.

Caught Red-Handed

The court mulled over the arguments and evidence and, on March 30, 2007, issued a stern opinion finding that "they [various scientists in the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team and the Fish and Wildlife Service] were misrepresented." The court found the amendment to the strategy in violation of several federal laws and set it aside.