A document posted on social media has shed light on the decision to let a Chinese company develop land around the Khouangxi waterfalls.
Increased monitoring in Thailand has forced smugglers to route the timber through Laos.
Developers of the site are the former mayor’s daughter and son-in-law.
A dispute over the project should be settled through diplomatic channels, it says.
International Rivers says the commission that oversees development along the Mekong River must consider the project’s impacts.
One official, however, doubts that the funds will be used in the interest of the public.
Recent punishments target low-level bureaucrats in limited provinces, he says.
The Southeast Asian nation will use its mines to back a massive loan to pay for the project.
One forestry expert says logging activities will thwart the government's plan to increase forestland to 70 percent.