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DIXIE LOGGING PROJECT ON DOCKET FOR '96

A long-term logging project targeting about 20 million board-feet of timber in southwestern Utah's Dixie National Forest is expected to get under way next summer.

Forest officials have released final documents for the Jacobs-Swale project, which will remove more than 6,000 acres of conifer and aspen trees located 25 miles north of Escalante.The timber sale, expected to create 200 jobs, is the largest planned by the forest for 1996.

Kevin Schulkoski, district ranger of the Escalante Ranger District, said forest officials are anxious to get the logging started.

"We've been working on this for a long time," he said. "The documents we sent out are the result of about two years of in-depth analysis."

Schulkoski said the timber harvest will not be followed by a major reforestation effort since trees already are growing too densely in the area. Indeed, he said the logging will help counter the spread of tree-killing root rot.

Scott Groene, an attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, was unsure whether the conservation group would try to block the project.

Residents have until Sept. 18 to appeal the decision.