Remember when Obama disappointed environmentalists by allowing logging and the development of roads in America's largest temperate rainforest?
That was the same forest to which a federal judge has now thrown a small bone. U.S. District Judge John Bates last week dismissed a lawsuit filed by a timber group and a business community in Alaska that would have made conditions worse for the Tongass National Forest by allowing additional logging and road development in the forest.
Mark Gnadt, a spokesman for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, tells the Los Angeles Times that if the lawsuit had proceeded, "it would've thrown out requirements for buffer strips to protect salmon streams and other guidelines most all Southeast Alaskans agree are reasonable parameters for the timber industry."
The original forest management plan (which, to be clear, was created by Bush, not Obama—though worth mentioning as well is that Judge Bates was also appointed by Bush and not by Obama) is still criticized by environmentalists for not doing enough to protect old-growth and culturally sacred sites. But the dismissal of this lawsuit seems at least worthy of a hurray for small victories. And a hurray for U.S. District Judge John Bates.