Trump’s Removal of Protections for Old-Growth Trees Was Illegal, Judge Rules

A Trump appointee rolled back protections in six national forests two days before the administration’s term ended.

September 1, 2023 | Source: Truthout | by Olivia Rosane

Two days before he left office, a political appointee for President Donald Trump removed protections from old-growth trees in Oregon and Washington. On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Hallman ruled that decision was illegal.

Hallman vacated the U.S. Forest Service’s finding that the change would have no impact, and ordered the agency to carry out a full environmental impact statement of the proposal, as The Associated Press reported.

“It’s a shame that we needed a court to tell the Forest Service that they must follow the bedrock environmental laws that have been in place for decades,” Jamie Dawson of Greater Hells Canyon Council said in response to the ruling. “Completing a full public process and taking a hard look at the environmental impacts of their actions is the least they should be doing, especially when considering such an impactful decision.”