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Federal judge lifts hold on logging project in Lolo National Forest

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HELENA, Montana — A federal judge has lifted an injunction on a 2,038-acre logging project after the U.S. Forest Service provided more details on how it would affect threatened Canada lynx.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy removed his hold on the Colt Summit Project Friday after the agency satisfied his requirement to study the project's cumulative effects on lynx.

The project is a collaborative restoration effort in the Lolo National Forest about 10 miles north of Seeley Lake. Besides logging, the project includes decommissioning roads and treating noxious weeds.

Four conservation groups sued in September 2011 to stop the project, saying it would harm lynx, bear and trout habitat.

The groups argued unsuccessfully the injunction should remain in place because Forest Service's new analysis did not assess the combined impacts on lynx.

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