SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Supreme Court has upheld an appeals court ruling that found the sale of a tract of the Elliott State Forest was illegal.

The ruling announced Wednesday upholds the appeals court decision last year that overturned the sale of 788 acres to the Seneca Jones Timber Company after environmental groups sued.

The old-growth forest was intended to be managed to generate money for public education but logging on the land has been curtailed by lawsuits.

The East Hakki Ridge tract was considered a test case for selling to private timber.

In May, the State Land Board voted unanimously to stop the sale of the forest entirely.

The forest, north of Coos Bay, contains one of the largest uncut old-growth forest in the Oregon Coast Range.

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