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Plan to log dead trees near roads meets objections

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) -- Two environmental groups are objecting to a U.S. Forest Service plan to log dead trees along roads and in campgrounds in the Little Belt Mountains. The Great Falls Tribune reports  most of the targeted trees along 575 miles of roads, in campgrounds and forest administrative sites are lodgepole pines killed by mountain pine beetles. Lewis and Clark National Forest supervisor Bill Avey says the hazardous tree removal is a matter of public safety and won't have a significant environmental impact.  The Forest Service held a meeting in Great Falls Wednesday to hear objections to the plan. Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council are objecting. They argue logging the dead trees will harm wildlife habitat and worry that healthy trees also will be removed.

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