Apr 6, 2015 7:18 PM by Associated Press
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge in California says wildlife officials were wrong to grant a company permission to harm threatened species while logging private land.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins invalidated incidental take permits for the northern spotted owl and a population of coho salmon that federal officials granted to Fruit Growers Supply Company. The permits applied to more than 150,000 acres of company land in Siskiyou County.
Cousins said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly factored conservation efforts by the U.S. Forest Service into Fruit Growers' plan to mitigate its impact on the spotted owl. He said the National Marine Fisheries Service should have evaluated the timber operations' short-term impacts on coho salmon.
A call to the company was not immediately returned. A fish and wildlife spokesman said the agency does not comment on pending litigation. A fisheries spokesman declined comment.
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