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Poland ready to end extensive logging in pristine old forest

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WARSAW, Poland –  Poland's environment authorities say a decision has been made to stop the extensive logging in one of Europe's oldest forests that has been declared illegal by a top European Union court.

The Environment Ministry said Tuesday that Minister Henryk Kowalczyk has ordered the government's 2017 permission for the increased felling of trees in the Bialowieza Forest to be halted by the top forestry official, a move expected this week.

It was the Polish government's official reaction to a ruling last month by the European Court of Justice that said the increased logging was against EU environmental laws. Poland has vowed to abide by the ruling.

The controversial logging was ordered by the previous minister, who argued it was to stop a bark beetle infestation. Environmentalists questioned that, suspecting profit motives.

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