MEDFORD, Ore. — The United States District Court chose to uphold the timber industries’ request and remove logging suspensions put in place by the federal government because of the government shutdown. This means timber companies all over the nation can get back to logging federal lands immediately as of 10:30 Thursday morning.
Even with the government shutdown coming to an end, loggers say it would’ve taken some time to get their crews and their equipment back up onto federal lands, but now they say they don’t have to wait.
The court’s decision comes after the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service sent out letters last week ordering contractors to stop work suspension orders on federal lands for the remainder of the shutdown. Three timber companies filed a lawsuit against the government agencies because they felt this move was unfair.
Lawyers for the BLM and USFS argued they had to issue stop work orders because they were in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which states no money can be paid out of the U.S. Treasury during a federal shutdown.
Timing is everything in this case, especially with winter right around the corner. Some lumber mills were saying they didn’t know if they were going to have enough inventory to make it through the winter if the government shut down dragged on. Now that local timber companies can get back to work right away, they say they are in luck.