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Environment

Timber industry says it's formally challenging Black Hills logging reductions

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Black Hills National Forest

A timber industry group is challenging Forest Service research about the Black Hills.

The Black Hills Forest Resource Association says it’s filing a challenge through the federal government’s Data Quality Act. The association calls the move “an administrative action” that “doesn’t immediately involve the courts.”

The challenge arises from a long-running dispute over logging levels in the Black Hills National Forest. Forest Service researchers say the forest is reeling from wildfires and bug infestations. They say current logging levels are not sustainable over the long term. Forest officials say they’re reducing logging levels for the next several years while they work on a new master plan for the forest.

Timber-industry officials dispute the research and say proposed reductions in logging could destroy the industry. One Black Hills sawmill in Hill City has already closed.

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