A federal judge has halted a salvage logging project on state land in northern Idaho by temporarily banning the use of a contested U.S. Forest Service road on private property.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in an 8-page decision released late Friday granted a temporary restraining order requested by the property owners and an environmental group.
Morgan and Olga Wright and Idaho Rivers United say the federal agency incorrectly approved the use of the road without issuing a special use permit.
Such a permit would require an environmental analysis of effects on the Selway Wild and Scenic River corridor.
The Forest Service and state officials contend a special use permit isn't needed. Idaho also says the burned timber is losing value.
Winmill ordered an expedited schedule for the case.