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Federal judge grants injunction halting commercial timber harvest near Walton Lake

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has stopped a commercial timber harvest near Walton Lake in the Ochoco National Forest, as the request of an environmental group.

The Capital Press reports U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman has granted a preliminary injunction sought by the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project to block logging in the recreational area that was set to start in October.

Mosman said at the end of oral arguments in Portland Wednesday that the nonprofit group was likely to prevail on the merits of its claim that the project violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

The environmental plaintiff also met the other requirements for a preliminary injunction, such as demonstrating immediate and irreparable harm from the project, the judge said. The logged trees would be lost for generations, if not permanently, he added.

The Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project filed a complaint last year against a broader 178-acre timber project at the Walton Lake recreational area, but its request for a preliminary injunction focused only on 78 acres of commercial logging at the site.

Article Topic Follows: AP - Oregon-Northwest

The Associated Press

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