Oregon officials suspended 10 timber sales on 800 acres of state land in preparation for a legal fight with conservation groups.
The question in that battle is whether the state's logging goals in the coastal Elliott, Tillamook and Clatsop state forests illegally harm the habitat of the threatened marbled murrelet, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act. The bird lays its eggs on the large, mossy branches of mature and old-growth trees.
The state suspended the sales so that officials who would normally work on timber sales could focus on preparing for the federal court fight in Portland, said Kevin Weeks, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Read more at The News-Register.