A judge has blocked government logging operations in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, California, home to two-thirds of the world’s largest trees.

The judge called in to question the government’s reasons for wanting to log 2,000 acres within the area.

He suggested high timber prices rather than fire control was the reason why the government wanted to launch logging operations. Giant sequoia trees were not targeted in harvesting operations which began this summer before a temporary injunction blocked further logging.

Environmentalists who brought the case estimate humdreds of acres were logged during the initial harvesting.