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California environmentalists say logging a burned forest near Tahoe threatens rare woodpecker

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A rare male black-backed woodpecker near its nest in a dead tree on the edge of where the Angora fire burned near South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

AP reports that conservationists are pressing the US Forest Service to postpone cutting until after nesting season in August:

“There are some other unlogged areas they could fly to as long as the nest core area was protected, but if that’s gone, the chicks would just starve to death,” said Rachel Fazio, a lawyer for the group who argued their case last May 14 before a three-judge panel at the federal appellate court in San Francisco.

Fazio said it is ironic that the Forest Service and the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science are co-hosting the third annual Lake Tahoe Bird Festival on Saturday at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center just a few miles from the woodpeckers’ nest.


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Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A sign warns hikers they are entering an area that is being cleared of dead trees burned in the 2007 Angora fire near South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Rare woodpecker chicks in burned forest stands at Lake Tahoe won't survive if the U.S. Forest Service proceeds with a contentious post-fire logging project, according to conservationists pressing the agency to postpone cutting around the trees until after the nesting season in August.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

In this photo taken Monday, May 28, 2012, trees that have been cleared as part of a post-fire logging project are seen stacked for removal at the site of the 2007 Angora fire near South Lake Tahoe.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Chad Hanson, executive director of the John Muir Project, marks a tree, slated to be removed, that holds the nest and chicks of the rare black-backed woodpecker, at the site of the 2007 Angora fire near South Lake Tahoe.