ENVIRONMENT

EU court orders Poland to halt logging in ancient forest

A European court has ordered Poland to immediately stop cutting trees in Europe's last pristine forest of Bialowierza.

The press service for the European Union's Court of Justice said Friday the measure is temporary while European authorities analyze Poland's position on the matter.

European authorities and environmental groups say the logging threatens the continent's last unspoiled woodland, which is included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.

Poland's environment minister has authorized increased logging, saying it is meant to save the woods from a spreading infestation of bark beetle.

Poland has until Aug. 4 to explain that policy to the European Commission, which then will decide whether to seek a permanent ban on the logging.

Environmental groups are welcoming the court's decision.