A couple of examples of how lawsuit settlements can play out on national forests.
“Both cases were settled around 2012, and it took years for the Forest Service to come up with a plan. Now, it is rethinking how snowmobilers explore public land. Its final plan will determine what percentage of the forest and what trails are used for snowmobiles.”
This is a typical settlement, where the Forest Service agrees to undertake a process, with more analysis, without committing to an outcome, but sometimes that outcome can make the plaintiffs happy (and maybe prevent another lawsuit). The settlement occurred here after the Forest Service lost the lawsuit.
“In an agreement announced Monday, NCDOT will give a conservation easement to protect land it will own along the 10.3-mile bypass, as well as provide $5.3 million to the N.C. Coastal Land Trust to create a fund to protect land in and around the Croatan National Forest. NCDOT also will establish a $2 million revolving loan fund that could be used to protect property elsewhere in Carteret, Craven and Jones counties. As part of the settlement, the two federal agencies have committed to maintaining woodpecker habitat between the bypass and the town of Havelock with the use of controlled burning, which longleaf pines need to reproduce and thrive. The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to carry out the burning.”
The Forest Service was not a party to this one, but was part of the settlement, which involved adding mitigation measures. This settlement occurred prior to a court decision.