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Appeals court upholds forest management plan for pine beetles

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PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a federal appeals court has upheld a management plan for the Black Hills National Forest.

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Jackley says the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has affirmed federal court decisions in Colorado and Wyoming denying challenges to the plan.

The plan was developed in 1990 and amended in 2005, taking into account a mountain pine beetle epidemic and providing for logging, prescribed burning and other control methods.

Critics who sued worry about damage to plants and wildlife habitat in the 8,125-square-mile forest in northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.

The environmental groups' challenge has been litigated in federal courts in South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado. Jackley says the state has intervened in all litigations because of the importance placed in protecting the forest.

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