Three environmental groups have filed a petition to halt a planned timber sale on Dixie National Forest, called the Windmill Sale, in the area of Boulder Mountain.

The Wilderness Society, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Sierra Club filed the appeal with the U.S. Forest Service's regional forester, J. Stanley Tixier, Ogden.The groups asked for a halt in the sale until completion of a revised environmental statement that complies with the National Environmental Policy Act. They claim the area has important natural values, including deep slickrock canyons, alpine meadows and outstanding scenery.

In addition, timber sales on Dixie National Forest actually cost the government money, rather than raising revenue, they contend.

"In 1984, the Dixie National Forest returned approximately 30 cents on every dollar spent on timber harvest," the appeal says. "We request . . . a thorough economic analysis of the proposed sale based on the most recent computer modeling techniques."

The Forest Service has an obligation to define areas unsuitable for timber harvesting, but this hasn't happened at Dixie National Forest, they wrote.