U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert lifted a 1996 injunction that banned timber cutting and natural resources exploration in southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest.
According to Gilbert, the U.S.
Forest Service "has embarked on an entirely new forest-planning process
that was based on entirely new environmental analysis." The judge said things have “significantly” changed since he outlawed timbering and drilling in the forest.
Sam Stearns said the decisions is "a setback for people who
want to protect the Shawnee and a victory for people who are willing to
sacrifice our natural heritage for a quick, short-term profit," according to the Associated Press.