Court Upholds Forest Plan for Black Hills

Black Hills MPBR Project
Black Hills MPBR Project

So we have the sale-by-sale focus of groups in Montana. We have the “timber wars” narrative continuing to play out in Oregon. Then we have the little old Black Hills where peace seems to have broken out. What does it take? Good environmental work and local people who work with each other. Supportive state governments and reasonable courts. Small timber and logging firms. A FACA committee?

Interesting because the next step is their adaptive NEPA large scale project (248K acres), which could be a lead example of how to streamline NEPA and follow the current legal framework. They had three objection, so far no litigation and are about to start implementation. Here’s a link to the documentation.

Here’s one article..from radio KOTA.. this one has more history in it about the Norbeck lawsuit..

Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that the Wyoming Federal District Court has again upheld the current Black Hills Forest Plan. The 1990 Forest Plan was amended in 2005 after a top ranking forest service official sent it back for more study of its effects on wildlife.

During the review, the amendment process also included extensive consideration of the rampant mountain pine beetle infestation which grew exponentially from 1997-2005…

South Dakota has vigorously urged the Forest Service to fully consider the mountain pine beetle and its damaging effects on trees and the increased risk of fire damage…

Jackley said that the timbering activity has been ongoing because the courts have sided with the National Forest Service and the state of South Dakota during these litigations..

In 2011, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upheld the related plan for the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve that also provided for diversity in timber management for game animals and bird habitat in a portion of the Forest. Within weeks after losing their Norbeck challenge in the Eighth Circuit, the same environmental groups and others filed suit in Wyoming Federal District Court, seeking to set aside the 2005 overall Forest Plan. The South Dakota Attorney General intervened on behalf of the State of South Dakota in support of the 2005 Forest Plan. The Wyoming Federal Court upheld the Forest Plan in late 2012 and has now rejected a motion by the environmental groups to reconsider the ruling. The environmental groups will have until mid-June to appeal the District Court’s ruling.

another article on the court decision from the Rapid City Journal.

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