Litigation Weekly Feb. 10, 2017

Court Decisions Wildlife & Timber I Region 1 The District Court for the District of Montana granted the Forest Service’s motion for summary judgement on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Forest Management Act (NFMA) claims filed against the Forest Service concerning the North Whitetail Post Fire Project Salvage Sale (Whitetail Project) in the …

Continue reading ‘Litigation Weekly Feb. 10, 2017’ »

Custer-Gallatin wins salvage logging lawsuit

On Feb. 6, Judge Molloy in the Montana District Court upheld the Custer National Forest’s  use of the categorical exclusion applicable to projects not exceeding 250 acres for the Whitetail Salvage Project.  In Native Ecosystems Council v. Weldon he found that even though it was the third project in the area affected by the 2012 Ash …

Continue reading ‘Custer-Gallatin wins salvage logging lawsuit’ »

Litigation Weekly Feb. 6, 2017

No new court decisions. Litigation Update No new litigation updates. New Cases Minerals I Region 9 Plaintiffs filed suit in the District Court of the District of Minnesota alleging the Forest Service’s final Record of Decision (ROD) approving a land exchange known as the PolyMet NorthMet Land Exchange (PMLE) in the Superior National Forest violates …

Continue reading ‘Litigation Weekly Feb. 6, 2017’ »

Litigation Weekly January 30, 2017

Hope springs eternal – in me, anyway, that the new administration will post these on the FS website (or have?). Til then, though,…(post is just the first paragraph of each item, read pdf of Litigation Weekly for entire write-up). Wildlife I Region 4 The District Court of Idaho enjoined the Forest Service and the Idaho …

Continue reading ‘Litigation Weekly January 30, 2017’ »

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 …

Continue reading ‘Court protects frog from Freemont-Winema National Forest grazing’ »

Court slams Forest Service wilderness decision

The federal district court in Idaho has ruled against the state’s use of helicopters to collar elk in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. In Wilderness Watch v. Vilsack it held that the Forest Service failed to consider the cumulative impacts of a one-year proposal when it knew the state intended this to be …

Continue reading ‘Court slams Forest Service wilderness decision’ »

Forest planning for federal land ownership

The Superior National Forest has received a notice of intent to sue over a land exchange that would allow development of a mine on the former national forest lands. The notice involves federally listed wolves and lynx. My question was whether the exchange is consistent with the forest plan as required by NFMA. The Superior …

Continue reading ‘Forest planning for federal land ownership’ »

Lawsuit will question fuel breaks

The Los Padres National Forest has proposed the Santa Barbara Mountain Communities Defense Zone Project. “The desired condition for chaparral is to establish a diversity of shrub age classes in key areas near communities to improve the effectiveness of fire suppression operations. Adequate defensible space around communities could greatly reduce the risk of structure loss, …

Continue reading ‘Lawsuit will question fuel breaks’ »

Post-Election Thoughts About Our Forests?

With a new Republican President and a Republican-controlled Congress, how will this affect the Forest Service and the BLM? Regarding the picture: I did some processing with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) program to get this artsy view. It is interesting that it enhanced the flames better than in the original scan, from a Kodachrome …

Continue reading ‘Post-Election Thoughts About Our Forests?’ »

Who gets the most legal fees from the federal government?

Environmental groups barely register.  And it’s a good bet that the partner-named law firms on this list are not doing much public interest litigation. The article this is taken from was about the novelty of Earthjustice being on the list, and its focus on EPA.  It added: “Garcia said these fee awards play no role …

Continue reading ‘Who gets the most legal fees from the federal government?’ »