- The Washington Times - Monday, August 29, 2005

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The Forest Service last week admitted to making a “serious” mistake that allowed the logging of 17 acres inside a rare tree reserve as part of the salvage harvest of timber burned by a fire in 2002.

The logging inside the 350-acre Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area, created in 1966 to protect Brewer spruce and other rare plant species in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, was discovered the week before last by environmentalists after the timber was harvested and a forest closure intended to bar protesters was lifted.

Forest Service personnel mismarked the border of part of the timber sale next to the botanical area, said Illinois Valley District Ranger Pam Bode.

“For us to have changed the ecology in that area through removal of these dead trees is a serious error,” Miss Bode said.

Spokeswoman Patty Burel said the Forest Service would look into the blunder.

Barbara Ullian, conservation director of the Siskiyou Project group that discovered the damage, said the mistake demonstrated the importance of allowing the public to monitor logging operations in national forests.

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