NFS Litigation Weekly October 12, 2018

Forest Service summary:  Litigation Weekly Oct 12

The court upheld the North Fork Mill Creek A to Z Project on the Colville National Forest (E. D. Wa.)


Blogger’s note:

The 9th Circuit had previously refused to enjoin the project and that decision was explained here.  This is important because the district court held that most of the issues involving fisher and pine marten had been finally determined by the 9th Circuit.  Even though preliminary injunctions don’t normally do that, on this issue the facts had not changed and the arguments were the same.

On the other hand, whereas the 9th Circuit did not get much into the question of contracting out the NEPA process (apparently subcontracted as part of a stewardship contract), this district court did.  The issue was treated as a challenge to the bidding process, which non-bidders have a hard time doing.  I thought there would be a NEPA issue about awarding a timber sale contract before the NEPA process was completed (there can no commitment to actions that would have environmental impacts prior to completion of NEPA requirements).  Maybe someone could enlighten me about what “stewardship contracts” actually commit the parties to do.

Here is an article also summarizing the court decision.

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