Forest Service Litigation Weekly -March 23, 2015

Our favorite weekly document (thanks to the authors!) with attached documents.

Litigation Update

1. Preliminary Injunction │Region 5
Ninth Circuit Denies Appellant’s Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal in Conservation Congress v. USFS. On March 16, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, citing Winter v. Natural Resource Defense Council, denied appellant, Conservation Congress’ motion for an injunction pending appeal of the Algoma Project on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. (14-16142, 14-17397, 9th Cir.)

2. NOI │Region 1
NOI Filed Regarding the Noisy Face Recreation Plan on the Flathead National Forest. On March 6, 2015, Swan View Coalition sent an NOI alleging that the Noisy Face Recreation Plan on the Flathead National Forest is in violation of sections 7 and 9 of the ESA due to impacts on grizzly bear. The NOI also alleges failure to consult on lynx critical habitat.

New Cases

1. Travel Management │Region 5
Plaintiffs Challenge the Plumas National Forest Motorized Travel Management ROD in Granat et al. v. USDA. On March 18, 2015, plaintiffs, Amy Granat (Managing Director of the California Off-Road Vehicle Association), Corky Lazzarino (Executive Director of Sierra Access Coalition), Sierra Access Coalition, California Off-Road Vehicle Association, The County of Plumas, and the County of Butte filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California challenging the Plumas National Forest Motorized Travel Management ROD. Plaintiffs raise twelve claims including: (1) the Forest Service did not employ a science-based roads analysis to designate routes under the Travel Management Rule according to the potential impacts to natural resources, soils, watersheds, or vegetation, (2) the Forest Service did not coordinate with local governments under the Travel Management Rule (including that the Forest Service’s decision did not reflect consideration of the connection between Plumas National Forest routes and the county road systems or consider the opportunities for county roads to serve as connectors), (3) the Forest Service failed to comply with NEPA requirements to cooperate and coordinate with local governments, (4) the Forest Service failed to identify, evaluate, and disclose the environmental impacts of motorized travel on thousands of unclassified but historically and lawfully used routes, (5) the Forest Service failed to consider an adequate range of alternatives as required by NEPA by failing to consider any alternatives that did not amount to a total ban or reasonable levels of closure for unclassified routes, (6) the Forest Service failed to provide a scientific basis for the Travel Management Decision (e.g. by using inaccurate and flawed data or no data), (7) the Forest Service failed to sufficiently analyze impacts to the human environment, (8) the Forest Service’s socio-economic impacts analysis was deficient, (9) the Forest Service failed to adequately respond to comments, (10) the Forest Service failed to complete a supplemental EIS between the draft and final decision, (11) the Forest Service failed to adequately consider the cumulative impacts of loss of recreational and trail access, and (12) the Forest Service violated FOIA by failing to respond within the statutory time limit. (15-00605, E.D. Cal.)

20150306NOI_SwanViewCoalition_NoisyFaceRecreation

20150316CircuitOrderPI_ConservationCongress_v_USFS_Algoma

20150318_Complaint_Granat_v_USDA_PlumasTrvlMgmt

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