ASPEN — A group of residents are looking to stop a U.S. Forest Service logging project in west-central Colorado, claiming it would damage the environment and tourism.

The Aspen Times reports attorney John Swomley filed a petition in federal court last week on behalf of 21 residents of the Upper Fryingpan Valley, claiming logging would harm recreation in the area.

The Forest Service has authorized the clear cutting of about 2.5 square miles of forest east of Basalt. The project is scheduled to begin this summer.

District ranger Karen Schroyer said in a statement last year the logging project would improve forest resilience and habitat for snowshoe hare.

The Forest Service declined to comment Monday, citing the pending litigation.

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