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U.S. Forest Service Sued Over Plans To Create Fire Break In Los Padres National Forest

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Two environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over its plan to create a major fire break in the Santa Ynez Mountains, saying it would damage the population of rare Refugio Manzanita

Two environmental groups have filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service’s plans to create a major new fire break in Santa Barbara County, claiming that the project would threaten a rare type of plant.

In the wake of recent major brush fires on the South Coast, the Forest Service announced plans to create a six mile long fire break along the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains to try to prevent huge blazes which could threaten homes in the region.

In a just filed lawsuit, Los Padres ForestWatch and the California Chaparral Institute say the project would threaten Refugio Manzanita. The environmental groups contend the federal agency improperly interpreted the law to say the project is exempt from environmental review, and that a study should be conducted before clearing occurs.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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