Earth Island Institute v. Elliott (E. D. California)

This case was decided on November 16, but has not yet been included in a Forest Service litigation summary. At issue is the Bull Run project, a fire salvage restoration project to treat a strip of land along an area of roadways affected by the Cedar Fire on the Sequoia National Forest. The court denied …

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Western Watersheds v. USFS (D. Idaho)

This case involves the decision by the Targhee National Forest to issue new Annual Operating Instructions to the Agricultural Research Service in 2017 to allow the U. S. Sheep Experiment station to continue grazing sheep on two allotments. This case was summarized in today’s Litigation Weekly, but since it found two violations of the forest …

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WA murrelet strategy should “meet only minimum federal standards for protections”

At least that’s what the Washington state politicians are urging their Department of Natural Resources to adopt for its lands. The DNR is currently considering five different proposals to protect the bird species. A final decision is expected within the next few weeks. Walsh has come out in favor of “alternative B” which he says …

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Plan for logging in Daniel Boone National Forest threatens rare flowers

This is about a formal objection to a logging project.  I think it illustrates one of the major issues we see in a lot of conflicts about logging (and an eastern example to boot):  what role should timber sale economics play in project selection and decision-making? From the objectors: Instead of focusing restoration efforts where …

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Sage grouse planning do-over

This article discusses the last Trump/Zinke twist in the effort to prevent sage listing of the greater sage grouse under ESA.  While sage grouse habitat on federal lands is mostly under BLM jurisdiction, the Forest Service is also a big player, and 20 forest plans were amended in 2015 to include conservation measures that were …

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Litigation bi-weekly October 6 & 13

Litigation Weekly Oct 6 New cases WildlandsDefense_v_Seesholtz  –  Challenge to the North and South Pioneer Salvage and Reforestation Projects on the Boise NF for its analysis of bull trout, including ESA consultation, and for compliance with forest plan standards for soils and salvage harvesting.  (D. Idaho) EarthIslandInstitute_v_Elliott  –  Challenge to the Bull Run Roadside Hazard …

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What is Beyond the “Fog of War”?

There are scary and uncertain times ahead for our forests. There is just too much “Fog of War” going on for the public to sort out and fact-check for themselves. Even the ‘fact-checkers’ should be suspect, until proven reliable and bias-free. The rise of ‘fake news’ has blurred multiple lines, and many people, even in …

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New lawsuit on Arizona copper mine and jaguars

The Coronado National Forest has been sued by the Center for Biological Diversity for approving the Rosemont copper mine.  The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also a defendant because the issues involve ESA consultation on the mine. The Rosemont Mine would “significantly impact a number of endangered species and their remaining habitat, including one …

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Forest planning for hunting

“A number of environmental groups, including the Endangered Species Coalition, want to keep hunters who use packs of dogs out of public lands in Wisconsin, including the state’s national forests.  The groups say the hunters and their dogs have made the public lands inhospitable, and they want the federal government to launch an investigation into …

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Fuel treatments to save an endangered species

The case of the Mount Graham red squirrel seems to be another example of where everyone agrees that fuel treatments make sense.  According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, loss of habitat to fire is the primary threat to this species.  The draft recovery plan was revised in 2011 largely due to unanticipated …

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