FS Litigation Weeklies – June 2, May 28 and May 19, 2017

For now, I won’t be lifting parts of the weekly litigation report out because they come in pdfs and I have to run them through OCR which is a bit of a pain and costs money. I’m asking the FS to send Word documents, and that would help greatly. I will keep you all posted on how that goes. Until then, take a look at the Litigation Weekly documents and feel free to lift and discuss any cases of interest.

June 2, 2017

Litigation Weekly 06_02_2017

HCPC v Stein

FriendsOfTheClearwater v Probert

SaveOurCabinets v USFS

AWR v Martin

Ouachita Watch v FS (1)

May 26,2017
Litigation Weekly 05_26_2017

Rocky_Mtn_Wild_v_Dallas_Wolf_Creek_SJ_Decision (002)


Tongass NFMA Decision

May 19, 2017

Litigation Weekly 05_19_2017

Alliance for the Wild Rockies v Bradford

Swan View Coalition v Weber

10 thoughts on “FS Litigation Weeklies – June 2, May 28 and May 19, 2017”

  1. Hi Sharon,

    This is great. Sharing the summaries more broadly should be of interest to many readers. Thx to you and to the folks who prepare these.

    As far as converting, most may already be OCR. Looks like we can copy/paste text of what you just shared. I tried several and was successful with all. Might be able to get some of those more focused discussions going with what you have now.


    • Thanks Peter, it’s the summaries I’m interested in posting (the litigation report). My Adobe will work with the legal docs. The Forest Service folks told me that they had specifically changed to protect the summaries, due to a situation in which someone had changed the summary and posted it, causing negative repercussions to the staff. Sounds like an interesting story, if anyone knows more about it that they would be willing to share. So their intention is to have it locked- if you have a way to get around that, please let me know!

      • Yikes. Always a possibility, even with PDFs. I just opened several of the PDF summaries in my iPad using Safari as the browser. Was able to copy/paste text each time. Not sure that’s exactly what you need, but might be worth a try.

      • Sharon

        You should be able to Google “free pdf to Word” or whatever and make life easy for yourself. I’ve used free software like that to handle some oddball formats before.

        • I think it’s my regular use of the “free” ones on multipage reports that has led at least one to charging me. I have found a workaround that involves printing to another format and reloading from that other format. So next week I’ll be back to using the new approach.

  2. I’ll just point out that the AWR v. Marten case is another in the Cottonwood series on lynx critical habitat. Now that consultation on forest plans for critical habitat has been initiated, it brings into play ESA §7(d), if anyone really wants to know.

    • It is worth repeating the conclusion of the Order granting injunctive relief:

      “The Court does not intend by issuing a preliminary injunction in this case to halt all timber sales in lynx critical habitat.”

  3. Funny you should ask. I’ve gotten kind of cynical about standing to sue. The basic principle is that courts should only hear cases from people who are affected by an agency decision, but courts have come up with an arcane set of rules to determine whether that is the case. In my opinion it is almost always possible for environmental plaintiffs to demonstrate standing for NEPA cases (and in my experience the Justice Department attorneys were reluctant to push this issue, often leaving it to intervenors). But sometimes judges decide to get nit-picky and find deficiencies in the precise wording used in a complaint (district courts will sometimes find no standing, but then also address the merits in case that is reversed on appeal).

    So the rules for land management cases are basically that 1) an individual must have a “specific and concrete plan” to visit a location that would be affected by the agency decision or 2) a group may have standing where a group member does . In this case the only individual declaration did not talk about future use, and the group assertion did not demonstrate that anyone’s particular future use would be affected in a concrete way.

    Here’s the point. I’m sure they could have found one person who had definite plans for future visits (or the one declarant could have made specific plans), and then the case would not have been dismissed for this reason. Or as the dissent in the cited Supreme Court Summers case said, a court should not “be blind to what must be necessarily known to every intelligent person.”


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