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).

  1. Wildlife I Region 4

The District Court of Idaho enjoined the Forest Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) from using data collected in an elk collaring project in the Frank Church Wilderness in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Wilderness Watch et al. v. Vilsack et al. Plaintiffs argued the project violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wilderness Act of 1964.

  1. Range I Region 6

The District of Oregon ruled on cross motions for summary judgement, finding partially for the plaintiffs and partially for the defendants, in a NEPA and ESA challenge to a grazing Allotment Management Plan on the Fremont-Winema National Forest in Concerned Friends of the Winema et al. v. U.S. Forest Service et al. The Chemult Pasture in the Fremont-Winema National Forest hosts cattle grazing, including the defendant intervenor’s cattle, which have been permitted for over 100 years. The Oregon spotted frog, a species listed as threatened since 2014, lives in the pasture’s creeks. When drought lowers water levels in the creek, the frogs live in smaller pools, which the plaintiffs argue are harmed when cattle also use the same small water pools.

Notices of Intent

  1. Wildlife I Region 5

The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) submitted a Notice of Intent to Sue received on January 30, 2017, alleging that the Forest Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by approving livestock grazing along rivers that provide habitat for coho salmon in the Klamath National Forest without first consulting with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

In 2014, NMFS issued a Recovery Plan for coho salmon that states that the Upper Klamath River coho population is of significance to the species’ survival. Horse Creek, located in the Klamath National Forest, is a tributary of the Klamath River and provides habitat to coho that are part of the Upper Klamath River coho population. The NOI states the Forest Service has authorized and continues to authorize livestock grazing on allotments along and in Horse Creek without first consulting with NMFS as to site-specific and cumulative effects of livestock grazing along and in Horse Creek and its tributaries on coho salmon in violation of the ESA.


CBD et al 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue re WNF Oil Gas Lease Sale 1-26-2017 Litigation Weekly 01302017 1950.1570GreaterRedLodgeWithdrawalInterestedParty17Jan2017 Winema_Order_on_MSJ_Cross_Motions20170125 WW SJ opinion

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