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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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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Court buys FS interpretation of viability for bighorn sheep

On July 31, the federal district court for Wyoming found that the revised Medicine Bow National Forest Plan met the requirement of the 1982 planning regulations to manage habitat “to maintain viable populations of existing native and desired non-native vertebrate species in the planning area.”  At issue was the meaning of additional language in the …

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Grazing Lawsuit on the Stanislaus National Forest

Julie Stevens of CSERC sent me this link and said that they would be willing to answer any questions about this lawsuit. Here’s the link: I’m working on trying to get the FS side of the story. Relevant to our discussion of the concept of multiple use, I thought this quote was interesting: The goal …

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Fremont-Winema wins sucker lawsuit

In Oregon Wild v. Cummins, the Oregon district court upheld the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s compliance with the requirement of INFISH to “modify grazing practices … that retard or prevent the attainment of [Riparian Management Objectives (“RMOs”)] or are likely to adversely affect inland fish.”   The court quoted a prior case for INFISH requirements: “INFISH contemplates …

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Court protects frog from Freemont-Winema National Forest grazing

In a case with a long history, the Oregon district court enjoined grazing in a pasture on the Fremont-Winema National Forest to protect threatened Oregon spotted frogs and sensitive plant species. The frogs congregate in pools in late summer, and so do cattle.  The court found violations of both NFMA and ESA. The court held …

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Court takes an interest in habitat connectivity – so should the Forest Service

Connectivity is a new buzzword in the 2012 Planning Rule. It is part of the requirement for ecological integrity, but the Forest Service seems reluctant to fully embrace it in its early revision efforts under the new rule. On June 25th, the Arizona District Court invalidated a Forest Service grazing permit on the Coconino National …

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Collaborating with the enemy

This story reminded me of that use of this term: The County Commission passed a resolution officially requesting the forest service immediately cease actions it has been taking since 2013 pertaining to grazing on Dixie National Forest. The forest service actions protested include the gathering of data, conducting studies and preparing reports without the county’s involvement. The resolution …

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Feds oppose environmental group’s request for $1.4 million in legal fees

Here’s the link… Below are a couple of excerpts.. The federal government is opposing an environmental group’s request for nearly $1.4 million in attorney fees stemming from a lawsuit over grazing in eastern Oregon. The request is “prodigious” and “excessive” because the environmentalists have exaggerated their victories and inflated the amount of time they spent …

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Indian Valley Meadow Restoration

Indian Valley, part of the Amador Ranger District, Eldorado National Forest, is being restored as a high elevation meadow, after decades of misuse. Grazing has ceased but, its impacts still linger. In the past, willows were removed and water was channeled away, causing increased erosion of these shallow and fragile soils. The water table has …

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