Forest plans and “valid existing rights”

This is about forest plan litigation – sort of.  The Michigan Wilderness Act included a provision protecting “valid existing rights.”  A series of forest plan amendments by the Ottawa National Forest imposed restrictions on motor boat use on a lake that was mostly within a wilderness area but partly touching private land.  A 2007 Forest …

Continue reading ‘Forest plans and “valid existing rights”’ »

Forest Service wins A to Z

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court denial of a preliminary injunction for the North Fork Mill Creek A to Z Project on the Colville National Forest, which has been discussed here. Of note, the question of contractor-NEPA was not addressed, although the court said that the Forest Service “reviewed and approved” the EA, and …

Continue reading ‘Forest Service wins A to Z’ »

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 …

Continue reading ‘Some red meat for the anti-litigation crowd’ »

Court: “There is no ‘oops’ exception to the duty of federal agencies to engage in reasoned decision making”

This case about wild horses on national forests shows how courts tend to look at agencies changing their minds (for whatever reason).  “The judges said decades of history and practice by the Forest Service can’t be swept away by calling the original decision a mistake.”  There is a process for remaking decisions – even “mistakes.” …

Continue reading ‘Court: “There is no ‘oops’ exception to the duty of federal agencies to engage in reasoned decision making”’ »

Arbitration/Mediation Pilots? The Westerman Bill and Other Ideas

I think it might be interesting to examine and discuss some of the specific ideas in the Westerman bill. The text of the arbitration section of the Westerman Bill is Title III subtitle B here. I like the idea of pilots- perhaps have two or three approaches and at the end of two years have …

Continue reading ‘Arbitration/Mediation Pilots? The Westerman Bill and Other Ideas’ »

Tennessee Creek Project in Colorado- Successful EA for Large Project

This case is from the July 28, 2017 Litigation Weekly but maybe deserves separate discussion. Previously folks have said you shouldn’t do EA’s but should do EIS’s, seemingly based on case law more than the NEPA regulations themselves (or as it has been characterized “DOJ won’t defend EA’s”). So we had been watching to see …

Continue reading ‘Tennessee Creek Project in Colorado- Successful EA for Large Project’ »

FS Litigation Weekly July 21, 2017

The CERCLA case was mentioned on the blog before, plus I think this Ochoco travel management is interesting in terms wolves in the project area (I worked on the Ochoco way pre-current-wolves). Court Decisions 1. CERCLA I Region 3 The 10th Circuit ruled on a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) case involving …

Continue reading ‘FS Litigation Weekly July 21, 2017’ »

FS Litigation Weekly, July 14, 2017

Here’s the Lit Weekly version of the Court decision on NEPA and the Wolverine fire we discussed previously here (27 comments). 1. Fire I Region 6 The District Court for the Eastern District of Washington ruled for the Forest Service on a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) case challenging the construction of a Community Protection …

Continue reading ‘FS Litigation Weekly, July 14, 2017’ »

FS Litigation Weekly July 7, 2017

Litigation Update 1. Wildlife I Region 9 Environmental groups submitted an amended complaint in the Southern District of Ohio adding Endangered Species Act (ESA) claims to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) claims against the Bureau of Land Management’s and Forest Service’s authorization of oil and gas leasing in the Wayne National Forest’s Marietta Unit in …

Continue reading ‘FS Litigation Weekly July 7, 2017’ »

Forest Service Litigation Weekly June 30, 2017

I have sadly fallen behind in posting these, and my previous workaround stopped working, so will be catching up… 1. Land Use I Region 1 The District of North Dakota ruled favorably for the Forest Service on actions filed by North Dakota and several counties seeking quite title to claims of section line rights-of-way on …

Continue reading ‘Forest Service Litigation Weekly June 30, 2017’ »