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RP LAKE TAHOE KAYAK.JPGA long-running Sierra Nevada forest controversy has now captured the U.S. Supreme Court's attention.

On Monday, the court agreed to hear a case pitting environmentalists with the Portland-based Pacific Rivers Council against the U.S. Forest Service. The case, which will be heard sometime during the 2013 Term that begins in October, involves the ability of the environmentalists to sue the federal agency as well as questions about Forest Service planning on 11 Sierra Nevada forests.

In a decision last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the environmentalists in ruling that the Forest Service failed in 2004 to adequately study the effects of forest policy on individual fish species. The Obama administration, in appealing that court loss to the Supreme Court, said the question is whether the Forest Service must "analyze every type of environmental effect that any project ultimately authorized" on the 11 California forests "might have."

PHOTO CREDIT: A kayaker paddles along the south shore of Lake Tahoe under the watchful eye of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench



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