Statement from Walden’s office:
In The News
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Trout Unlimited does not seek to end logging on the Tongass. We have never litigated a timber sale on the Tongass and have in fact spent a great deal of time and energy working in good faith with the Forest Service and members of the timber industry to identify timber harvest plans that work for them and with other uses of the forest. I fully admit that it’s those other uses of the forest that are priorities for Trout Unlimited, but please let’s dispense with the tired old rhetoric falsely attempting to tie our organization to timber lawsuits or describe us as Outside agitators.
Mine opponents said it will take more than such a procedural ruling to revive the project. Tim Bristol, program director for Trout Unlimited, said the judge rejected two of Pebble’s three arguments and is making Pebble rewrite the other one before he considers it.
Legal and administrative challenges to the BLM's plan -- notably, litigation brought by Trout Unlimited, the National Wildlife Federation and others, represented by Earthjustice and Western Resource Advocates -- kept the leases tied up in court for years. The settlement agreement announced late last week was the result of stakeholders finally having had their fill of stalemate.
The arrangement calls for canceling seventeen of the nineteen leases issued on the plateau itself in 2008. Around $47.6 million in bonus bids and annual fees will be refunded to the original leaseholder, the Bill Barrett Corporation. The two remaining leases for the top and a dozen leases at the base of the plateau will remain.
There's no doubt that trout fishing has had a tremendous impact on Preston. The Root River is a perfect place for it — beautiful, cool and tranquil.