Kootenai National Forest

Bryant Olsen / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge has blocked a logging project in the Kootenai National Forest over concerns that roads built for the project may harm a threatened population of grizzly bears.

In approving the 36,600-acre Pilgrim project, the U.S. Forest Service called for installing gates on some of the planned roads that would allow future access.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled Monday the forest's management plan requires officials to permanently close the roads once the logging project is completed, or else close other roads in the area.

mountains, pine trees, forest
U.S. Forest Service, Northern Region / Flickr Creative Commons

Bonner County commissioners in northern Idaho are urging the U.S. Forest Service not to designate any more lands as potential federally protected wilderness in the Kootenai and Panhandle national forests.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports in a story on Sunday that commissioners say there are other ways for pristine areas to be preserved.

Commissioner Mike Nielsen says Scotchman Peak needs to be protected but that wilderness protection would isolate adjacent areas where trails are groomed for snowmobile riders.