Conservation groups are suing to stop a timber sale on more than 800 acres of forest service land east of Cottage Grove.
The Quartz timber sale in the Umpqua National Forest includes older trees. Nick Cady is with Cascadia Wildlands, one of the groups challenging the project.
Cady says the timber sale threatens habitat for a small rodent which is a favorite meal for the endangered northern spotted owl. Cady says the Forest Service didn’t adequately survey for the red tree vole.
“A volunteer survey group went out and did surveys and they ended up finding like 75 different next sites in about 100 different trees. So, the area was really good habitat for the species, really good habitat therefore for northern spotted owls and other endangered species.”
On its website, the Forest Service describes the Quartz project as “designed to improve stand health and diversity, improve fire resiliency, provide forest products, and maintain/restore meadow and aquatic habitats.” A spokeswoman for Umpqua National Forest had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.