Hot off the presses: the controversial Biscuit Fire salvage logging in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon has yielded a rather atrocious mistake. US Forest Service officials mis-marked the logging boundaries and accidentally approved 17 acres of cutting (apparently clearcutting) inside the 350-acre Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area, which is supposed to protect—you guessed it—a rare tree and other rare plants.

Salvage logging in the region has been enormously contentious. Interestingly, one element of the controversy centered on who should mark the boundaries of timber sales. In fact, a conservation group won a court judgment to force the Forest Service to mark public timber sales rather than letting loggers do it.

One can only imagine the mistakes the timber industry might make if it were in charge of drawing the boundaries. The Babyfoot Lake mistake was only discovered through the vigilance of the Siskiyou Project, a local environmental group that’s watch-dogging the salvage logging.

Among the scars left from the accidental logging in the protected area: a new logging road bulldozed in and 290 stumps, including one from a tree that was 234 years old. Read the full Seattle Times account here.