Alternative to Litigation- Western Watersheds and Ruby Pipeline

Here’s a link to a piece describing this …

But with El Paso’s commitment, “we agreed not to try to delay or litigate Ruby Pipeline,” said Jon Marvel, executive director of the Western Watersheds Project. His group is one on three plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s refusal to declare the greater sage grouse a threatened or endangered species.

Marvel expects the Western Watersheds fund to eventually be used to buy grazing permits from willing ranchers, but the organization first wants Congress to approve legislation to allow federal agencies to permanently retire grazing permits in such cases.

“It’s unprecedented to have the support of industry to work for the retirement of public grazing permits,” Marvel said, emphasizing that the fund would only buy permits from willing sellers.

4 thoughts on “Alternative to Litigation- Western Watersheds and Ruby Pipeline”

  1. Further proof that many of the activist environmental groups have used adversarial legalism to position themselves with enough power to become extortionists. WWP’s single-minded pursuit of what it sees as the ultimate solution hinders any form of adaptive mgt. WWP tries to simplify complex problems (causes and solutions)as their answer to everything is “remove the livestock.”

  2. Melanie: This is further proof that US Forest Service, BLM and/or US Fish and Wildlife Service needs public watchdogs to make sure the government follows their own rules, regulations, procedures, as well as best science, when managing America’s public lands. Also proof that watchdogs such as WWP are reasonable and willing to work together to find solutions outside of the courtroom. Thanks.

  3. Just what is the Forest Service supposed to do when many rules, laws and policies conflict? I’d bet that we could find a way to legally block the use of outhouses, too, eh?!? Just flipping the light switch on in an office probably goes against some sort of statute or policy.

    The worst of all is the Forest Service Let-Burn program, going against some of the biggest and most cherished cornerstone environmental laws. I’m not seeing many people talking about “slippery slopes” with those issues.

  4. Larry: You’re making quite the stretch there with your examples.

    Wildfires have been a natural and beneficial part of the landscape for thousands of years. Letting some wildland fire use fires burn, while closely monitoring the impacts, is not quite the same as granting a categorical exclusion and finding of “no significant impact” to a certain Deepwater Horizon Well in the Gulf of Mexico. Using the basis of your argument, I suppose the USFS would have to conduct an EIS because some vole ate some grass today, and tomorrow some hawk will eat that vole. I hope you can see how building roads, or cutting down forests or damning up rivers is a little different than natural processes or turning a light switch on at the ranger station.


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