A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction halting 11 timber sales in Oregon’s state forests. The state is being sued by three conservation groups who say the logging projects imperil a federally protected seabird.
U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken granted the injunction Monday. It halts 11 timber sales in the Tillamook, Clatsop and Elliott State Forests that are home to the threatened marbled murrelet.
In her ruling Judge Aiken wrote that conservation groups have shown they are likely to win the lawsuit on its merits. She says leaving the sales open to logging could cause irreparable harm.
Josh Laughlin with Cascadia Wildlands says the plaintiffs are calling on Gov. Kitzhaber to develop more balanced logging plans in state forests.
“Because right now what’s happening is rampant clear-cutting in the remaining older forests that are critical to the survival of a host of imperiled species including the marbled murrelet.”
A spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry says the agency will comply with the Judge’s order, but couldn’t comment further on the lawsuit.
It’s expected to go to trial late in 2013.
Copyright 2012 KLCC