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The timber industry is challenging the legality of a new plan for saving the northern spotted owl from extinction.
The American Forest Resource Council filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The lawsuit claims that meetings of two groups advising the spotted owl recovery team on computer models describing the owls' habitat needs should have been open to the public. It asks a judge to order the plan reopened.
The spotted owl has been at the center of intense political and legal battles over logging in the Northwest for more than 20 years. Protections for owl habitat have caused deep restrictions on logging in the Northwest.
The final version of the recovery plan is expected next month.
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