Litigation Weekly – January 12, 2018

Litigation Weekly Jan 12 RockyMtnWild v FS A Freedom of Information Act case.  Documents created by contractors in conjunction with their preparation of an EIS for the Wolf Creek Land Exchange on the Rio Grande National Forest, but never provided to the Forest Service, were not “agency records” subject to release under FOIA.  (10th Cir.) …

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Loggers lose attempt to remove coho salmon from California’s endangered list

On remand from the California Supreme Court, the Central Coast Forest Association and Big Creek Lumber Company lost again in the state appeals court.  They have been arguing that coho salmon did not occur naturally in rivers south of San Francisco, and that hatchery coho were harming native steelhead.  The state Fish and Game Commission …

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Litigation weekly – December 22 and 29, 2017

Litigation Weekly Dec 22 Duhring v USA The Allegheny National Forest was not liable for trespass when it delayed the extraction of oil and gas by the subsurface rights owner.  (W.D. Pa.) WEA v Zinke The 10th Circuit held that the BLM could not adequately represent the interest of environmental groups when defending an energy …

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Idaho Collaboration: “Lawsuits and appeals are no longer what hold up timber projects. The problem instead is money”

A) A few excerpts from an 12/27/17 article describing a situation where local collaboration has, to date, prevailed over legal suits to stop the Pioneer Fire Salvage Plan. The battle isn’t over but the prospects look good. 1) “Loggers are racing wood-boring insects and decay to salvage as much timber as they can from the …

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Shoshone forest plan lawsuit leads to negotiated solution on pack goats

The North American Packgoat Association’s lawsuit reversed a forest plan decision to restrict the use of goats for packing (because of risk of disease spreading to bighorn sheep) based on a procedural violation.  They then got together with the National Wild Sheep Foundation and other stakeholders to work out a new plan, which the Shoshone …

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Federal liability for fires it starts

This topic has come up a few times, and the Missoulian did a little legal research on it for us, but I think it’s incomplete.  In short, federal agencies are protected by sovereign immunity against claims of damages, and its employees are protected when performing their official duties – even if negligent.  What this article …

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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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