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Log jam

A pile of logs wait to be loaded onto a truck and taken to Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake.

HELENA — A federal appeals court has ruled against a proposed logging project in Montana's Kootenai National Forest.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the U.S. Forest Service improperly calculated whether the project would exceed limits set for road construction in threatened grizzly bear habitat.

The judges sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, who approved the East Reservoir logging project in 2016.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued in 2015 to block the 143-square-mile (370-square-kilometer) project on the east side of Lake Koocanusa. The environmental group argued the logging would harm the habitat of grizzly bears and other threatened species, such as bull trout and lynx.

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