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Judge temporarily blocks Trump logging plans for largest U.S. forest

A trail from Tongass National Forest.
Photo: Getty Images/Wanderluster

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration's plans Monday allowing the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to permit logging 42,500 acres in the United States' largest national forest.

Where it stands: The proposed logging is part of a larger plan by the USFS to open up 2.2 million acres to sales, with the more than 42,000 acres available for logging and the remaining land available for road construction.

  • The USFS had been just days away from collecting bids and divvying contracts for the logging project, which was set to clear out old-growth timber in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. Environmental groups backed a lawsuit against the plans in May.
  • The area will be protected from the "cutting of trees, road construction, or other ground-disturbing activities," per the ruling.
  • The court further blocked the opening of bids or granting contracts related to the proposed logging.

What they're saying: The plaintiffs successfully argued the plan would cause "irreparable harm" to the area, according to the court documents.

  • The court's ruling notes that "public interests that might be injured by a preliminary injunction... do not outweigh the public interests that will be served."

Go deeper: Trump admin. walks back plan to cut Forest Service program, slash 1,110 jobs