Judge Voids Farming Permits in Nature Preserve

Paducah, KY – A federal judge has struck down permits allowing two farmers to grow corn and soybeans in a federal nature preserve because the U.S. Forest Service violated its own rules in handling the agreements. U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell said it was "unreasonable" for the Forest Service to delegate its power to issue special use permits to the National Wild Turkey Federation. The federation signed contracts allowing two farmers to grow row crops in Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area that spans western Kentucky and Tennessee. The ruling Thursday comes in a long-running legal battle between environmentalists and the Forest Service over farming and the use of pesticides in the 235 square-mile protected area.