Federal judge dismisses California-based Pew Forest Products' lawsuit charging U.S. Forest Service with violating timber sale contracts by postponing logging, says company's owner delayed signing contracts, agreed freely to waivers

LOS ANGELES , May 10, 2012 () –

A lawsuit charging that the U.S. Forest Service violated timber sale contracts awarded to Pew Forest Product Inc. in the Plumas National Forest has been dismissed by a federal judge, reported Capital Press on May 10.

The Forest Service breached the company’s two timber sale contracts by postponing logging, according to California-based Pew Forest Products.

In the ruling, Judge Francis Allegra of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., noted that it took two months after Pew won the bids for the awards to become official.

Pew Forest Products’ owner also was not under duress when he signed a waiver agreement allowing the Forest Service to suspend or delay operations, the judge said, Capital Press reported.

The company was declared the high bidder on the two timber sale contracts in 2007, but the Forest Service’s awarding of those contracts was delayed by a lawsuit environmental groups filed as a stalling tactic.

Logging was further delayed, even after timber sales were officially awarded, because of a project to get rid of invasive fish and other environmental issues.

Pew filed the lawsuit after the Forest Service refused to grant the company’s request in 2008 to lower the price of timber sales due to the delays and falling lumber prices, reported Capital Press.

The primary source of this article is Capital Press, Salem, Oregon, on May 10, 2012.


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