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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

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.