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Three conservation groups are appealing a timber project south of Bozeman, saying the Gallatin National Forest is violating its own standards as well as building roads in critical lynx habitat.

The Bozeman Municipal Watershed project has been promoted by the forest and city officials as a way to reduce the chance of a large wildland fire along two drainages that are the main sources of the city's water supply -- Hyalite and Bozeman creeks.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Montana Ecosystem Defense Council and Native Ecosystems Council filed an administrative appeal Thursday. 

"This is the fourth time the Forest Service has tried to push this same timber sale," Michael Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said in a statement. "It's been successfully challenged three times since the '90s, including our successful appeal last May. Simply stated, the agency's proposal breaks a number of laws and this time around is no different."

After the last challenge, the Forest Service re-analyzed some of its data before coming out with its current analysis in February.

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