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Judge Lets Loggers Go Back to Work

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has allowed loggers to go back to work on national forests without waiting for federal agencies to lift logging bans prompted by the government shutdown. Following a hearing in Medford on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Owen M. Panner signed a temporary restraining order lifting the logging ban immediately.

The timber industry had sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, arguing that shutting down logging was not authorized by the Office and Management and Budget guidance to federal agencies on the shutdown, or the timber sale contracts themselves. After Congress resumed funding the government, the Forest Service and BLM said they were lifting the logging ban, and would begin notifying timber purchasers.

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