A federal judge has blocked a Southeast timber sale on Prince of Wales Island challenged by a coalition of conservationists. The ruling effectively puts the brakes on the federal government’s plan for logging in the Tongass National Forest.

At this month’s Southeast Conference meeting in Sitka, the U.S. Forest Service pledged more of the Tongass would come online for logging to feed local mills.

Deputy Forester Jerry Ingersoll complained past timber sales had been held up.

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