Shutdown stops forest timber sales

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – The U.S. Forest Service confirmed Friday it is shutting down logging operations on national forests across the country due to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

The agency plans to notify 450 timber purchasers across the country early next week that timber sales and stewardship contracts will be suspended, Forest Service spokesman Leo Kay said in an email.

“We regret the continued impact on the American public; however we must cease activities that require Forest Service oversight and management during the funding lapse,” he said.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said he was informed of the move by Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. Logging is being shut down on 150 national forests nationwide.

“What this means is another economic hit to rural areas in tough economic shape during the government shutdown,” Wyden said.

Tom Partin, president of the timber industry group America Forest Resource Council, said he got word that the agency would be posting details of the shutdown on a White House website today.

The Forest Service will be contacting each logging company in writing to tell them how to close down operations.