Critique of forest collaboratives may lead to lawsuits

A collection of environmental groups airing grievances about the forest collaborative process may mean more lawsuits over timber projects, says the head of a Central Oregon-based environmental group.

Frustrated with the results of forest collaboratives, Karen Coulter, executive director of the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project in Fossil, said there may be more litigation now.

Forest collaboratives involve public land management agencies, like the U.S. Forest Service, working with environmentalists, timber interests and local elected leaders to devise forest management plans on which all the parties involved agree. Such plans include thinning and prescribed burning near Black Butte Ranch in the Deschutes National Forest.

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