Ore. cancels 28 state timber sales over sea bird habitat

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry has agreed to cancel 28 timber sales on state forests because they threaten the survival of a sea bird that nests in large old trees.

The proposed settlement filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene comes in a lawsuit brought by conservation groups.

It alleged that the department violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to protect stands of trees on the Elliott and other state forests where the threatened marbled murrelets build their nests.

If the settlement is accepted by the judge, the case will be dismissed.

It comes as the department has been trying to increase logging on state forests to provide more funding for schools and counties and more logs for local mills.

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