A US appeals court in Oregon has lifted its injunction preventing salvage logging from an area affected by the nation’s worst wildfire in 2002.

Six timber sales of some 47 million board feet worth US$2m have already been conducted in old-growth forest in the Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest.

The appeals court decided a lower court judge was entitled to refuse an application by environmentalists to stop logging in the area.

The preliminary ruling will allow the Forest Service and timber buyers to move forward with sales and logging before the appeal of the lower court’s ruling is heard on March 22. The Forest Service says logging on 19,465 acres will provide much-needed timber for mills and pay for reforesting 31,000 acres.