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Oregon Tightens Logging Restrictions

Under a new court ruling, Oregon forestry officials will be required to hold logging on private timberlands to higher environmental standards than those currently in place.

The Christmas week ruling refutes the Oregon Department of Forestry€™s contention that it does not need to ensure that the private logging projects it approves conform to the Endangered Species Act.

Instead, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown of Portland said the federal law clearly prohibits anyone from harming protected species.

Private-lands logging is now the mainstay of the timber industry in the Northwest. It´s often more closely overseen by the state than the federal government.

The rulings stems from a February lawsuit brought by five conservation groups against the state€™s top forester.