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Plan For Giant Sequoia Monument Limits Felling

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A woman stands amongst a grove of a Giant Sequoia trees in the Sequoia National Park in Central California. The oldest known Giant Sequoia based on it's ring count is 3,500 years old. (credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman stands amongst a grove of a Giant Sequoia trees in the Sequoia National Park in Central California. The oldest known Giant Sequoia based on it’s ring count is 3,500 years old. (credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A new plan for managing the towering trees of the Giant Sequoia National Monument relies on fire rather than logging to maintain the forest’s health.

The plan was released on Tuesday after years of drafts and legal challenges.

It allows only Sequoia trees less than 12-inches in diameter in the 328,000-acre preserve to be removed, and then only to protect public safety or for ecological restoration. The trees cannot be sold.

In 2008, a federal judge rejected a Bush administration plan to allow commercial logging in the Monument. The Sierra Club, among the groups that filed suit to block the plan, said the administration was trying to satisfy timber interests.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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