The U.S. Forest Service is putting on hold new timber sales in spotted owl territory in the Northwest, seeking to avoid new legal problems in U.S District Court. Last week, a federal judge put nine timber sales on hold, saying the Forest Service had violated the Northwest Forest Plan by failing to conduct wildlife and plant surveys on the land, and enviros are hopeful that the ruling can be expanded to include more than 100 timber sales. Forest Service officials hope legal concerns over sales can be cleared up in a matter of weeks, but they concede it could take longer.