Logging in the Elliott has been restricted to protect a threatened seabird called the Marbled murrelet. As a result, the state is selling five parcels of the forest to make up for lost revenue.
The Audubon Society, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity say the state can't legally sell one of those parcels.
That's because the tract used to be part of the Siuslaw National Forest. The groups say Oregon has a law that prohibits the sale of state forest land if it used to be part of a national forest.
Noah Greenwald is with the Center for Biological Diversity. He says that rule could apply to the majority of land in the Elliott.
Greenwald: "There's been some talk on the state's part of selling the entire Elliott, and I think if this sale is stopped, it would seriously call into question their ability to do that."
The state recently awarded a winning bid to Seneca Jones Timber for the tract targeted by the lawsuit. Scott Timber Company had the winning bids for two other parcels. The three sales have yet to close.
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