The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed Thursday a district court ruling upholding the U.S. Forest Service's environmental analysis its Angora Restoration Project.
The Earth Island Institute had challenged the Forest Service's Environmental Assessment of the project and contended the project would hurt populations of the rare black-backed woodpecker.
Restoration was allowed to move forward as the appeals court considered arguments in the case.
The Forest Service has completed mechanical and hand thinning of trees on 1,441 acres in the Angora Fire area under the project.
The agency expects to complete improvements to the road and trail system included in the project this fall, while work to restore Seneca Pond and Angora Creek will continue, according to a statement from the agency.
The Forest Service will also complete prescribed burning of piles left from thinning operations and continue noxious weed treatments.
The Angora project was designed to protect wildlife habitat as well as reduce long-term wildfire risk to local communities, according to a statement from the Forest Service.