How the sue and settle process really works

This 6-page opinion includes a discussion of how courts decide whether to approve a consent decree. The case also demonstrates the ability of intervenors to influence the outcome.  In this case environmental groups intervened in a lawsuit by motorized users over a travel plan decision.  Because of the intervenors, the court refused to approve the …

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Final policy for managing over-snow vehicle use

Let winter travel planning begin.  Not something the Forest Service wanted to do, but the result of a court decision that found the Forest Service incorrectly exempted snowmobiles from the travel planning regulations.  Here is the new regulation and a news article. Over-snow vehicle use on National Forest System roads, on National Forest System trails, and …

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Settlement agreements in litigation

Here is a textbook example, from the Stanislaus National Forest travel planning process. The Forest Service makes a decision Plaintiffs sue Intervention granted to supporters of the decision Court finds Forest Service violated a procedural analysis requirement Plaintiffs, intervenors and Forest Service agree on an interim solution while the process is redone It looks like …

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NEPA abuse in travel planning

The basic requirement of NEPA is to evaluate environmental impacts before taking action.  Thus, the Payette National Forest prepared an EIS before implementing a travel management plan.  Part of that decision included closing all user-created roads until their effects could be site-specifically evaluated. The Forest Service was sued for violating NEPA “because they fail to …

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Collaboration Example: Black Hills Travel Management with FACA Committee

If, as stated by many, collaboration is a tool of “industry”, what industry are we talking about here? Here’s an example of how the recommendations and agency action interrelate on the draft Travel Management Plan. Proposed Action Early development of the proposed action involved extensive consultation with many individuals and groups. Some of this work …

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The Royal Forests- Congressman McClintock on the Forest Service

Disagreement, up to and including violence, around land ownership and use is part of our Homo sapiens heritage. In one sense that is encouraging- it’s not likely that if we were better at our work of land management, all the conflict would go away. And it’s definitely cheery that we have moved away from violence. …

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One Controversy at a Time, Please

Ahh. Echoes of Ed Abbey (he wrote One Life at a Time, Please). If Roadless is contoversial, and travel management is controversial, if we have roadless travel management do we get more than 2x the controversy? Here’s a news story on a lawsuit on a travel management plan. It seems like Mrowka and Hawthorne disagree …

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Travel Management on the W-W

Richard Cockle/The Oregonian Randy James, operator of an Enterprise ATV and motorcycle shop, and ex-logger Larry Cribbs of La Grande repair a damaged sign that takes issue with a forthcoming travel management plan expected to prohibit motorized vehicles on much of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. This article from the Oregonian is full of interesting observations.. …

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