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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Who gets to be “in the room”

Discussion about the unfair access of litigants to decision-makers ignores the privileged position of local governments and economic interests during the planning process.  That is illustrated by this account of a meeting between the Forest Service, ESA regulatory agencies and northeast Oregon ranchers and county commissioners concerning revision of the Blue Mountains forest plans and …

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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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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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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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Wildlife and last year’s eastern wildfires

“Endangered snail survives devastating fall wildfires” and other stories from the Smoky Mountains. The snail was placed on the federal endangered species list in 1978. Before the fires, the only place in the world it was known to exist was a 2-mile stretch the southern side of the Nantahala River Gorge in Swain County. After …

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Some red meat for the anti-litigation crowd

Here’s a story about an enjoined timber sale that might be burning up right now.  It will no doubt become Exhibit A for arguing why we should not allow the public to sue the government over its land management decisions. “Both the Park Creek and Arrastra Fires on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest were …

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