Lawsuit says national forest rule ignores environmental impacts

San Francisco, CA – A new U.S. Forest Service rule governing the way it develops long-range plans for 192 million acres of national forests is being challenged in court.

Conservation groups don't like the way the new rule scraps the old system, which required that logging not threaten any viable populations of fish and wildlife, such as the northern spotted owl and salmon.

They filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco arguing that the new rule violates the federal law that requires environmental impact statements on major federal projects.

The Forest Service had no immediate comment.