Feds asked to delay logging near rare Tahoe birds

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RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A conservation group says rare woodpecker chicks in burned forest stands at Lake Tahoe won't survive if the U.S. Forest Service proceeds with a contentious post-fire logging project.

Leaders of the Sierra-based John Muir Project are pressing the agency to postpone cutting around the trees until after the nesting season in August.

They are hoping for a ruling by then on their appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court aimed at blocking what's left of the salvage operation. The logging is in an area where a fire burned more than 250 homes in 2007.

Group director Chad Hanson documented the black-backed woodpecker chicks this week in a nest in a dead tree at the site and suspects there are more.

Forest Service officials said Thursday they are reviewing the matter.