Judge Beistline (U.S. District Court, Anchorage) has granted a temporary injunction of The Big Thorne timber sale, which involves the proposed logging of more than 6,000 acres of old-growth coastal rainforest in one of the most sensitive areas of the Tongass National Forest.
Crag filed the lawsuit in August of 2014 on behalf of a coalition of groups, including Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Coalition, Cascadia Wildlands, Greenpeace, Center for Biological Diversity and the Boat Company, a local sustainable tour operator.
The ‘injunction pending appeal’ will be in force for 14 days from tomorrow (4/1/15). Logging and road building could commence on April 16, 2015 unless the 9th Circuit Court of appeals takes other action.
On behalf of our clients, we intend to ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of the old-growth logging project until the Circuit Court has an opportunity to review the case.
Two other Big Thorne lawsuits have been filed by another consortium of organizations, and Judge Beistline recently combined the cases into one docket (Case No. 1:14-cv-00013-RRB, in the Alaska District Court).
Larry Edwards, a Greenpeace campaigner in Sitka, Alaska, said, “We are pleased to have this reprieve from logging that could otherwise have started tomorrow, causing irreversible loss of old-growth habitat that is vital to wildlife, hunters and other forest users and businesses. “The Big Thorne project would be the most devastating logging project in the Tongass in thelast 20 years so we’re glad to see this forest get even a brief reprieve,” said Rebecca Noblin,Alaska director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Not only would it wipe out 6,000 acresof old-growth forest – including some trees approaching 1,000 years of age – but it would be adeath sentence for Alexander Archipelago wolves on Prince of Wales Island.”