An environmental group asked a federal judge to block a herbicide spraying project on more than 20,000 acres of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in Oregon that the U.S. Forest Service approved in 2010.

The League of Wilderness Defenders-Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project challenged the herbicide use in federal court, claiming the service unlawfully failed to analyze the impact of increased herbicide use on fish.

A report written by Mateusz Perkowski for Capital Press quoted Jason Hill, an attorney for the federal agency. "Plaintiffs are trying to argue that you [the public] should have absolutely zero impact. It would basically bar the agency from doing anything. You could never get to the point of zero impact."

The zero impact argument is quite commonly heard as an argument by environmental groups claiming to protect the environment. The environment is more important than humans under this idea.  

"This is a [forest] restoration project that's trying to undo the effect of invasive weeds," said Hill, noting that the plaintiffs complain about herbicides while "completely ignoring the adverse impact of the invasive species themselves."

The environmentalists allege that herbicides will kill plants surrounding waterways, raising stream temperatures to the detriment of salmon and trout, according to Perekowski’s report.

Oral arguments were heard by a U.S. District Judge on Jan. 23. To read the full article click here.