(The return of the official) NFS Litigation Weekly May 22, 2019

I’ll return to my role of providing a brief summary and links to the Forest Service summary and documents (with occasional additions and comments).  Some of these cases below were recently discussed here.

Forest Service summaries:  Litigation Weekly_2019_05_15_22_Distributed



Flathead National Forest, Beaver Creek Project.

The Plaintiffs had sought to compel the Forest Service to repair a broken security light and place picnic tables at the facility on the DBNF under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA.  The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered parties to provide evidence about the designations of the facility.

Introduced mountain goats, Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The 9th Circuit upheld the Kaibab National Forest Travel Management Plan permitting motorized big game retrieval.  The district court decision was discussed here.

The District of Montana dismissed a complaint filed in 2015, concerning the allotment management plans on 7 domestic sheep allotments on the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest, and the revised forest plan.



This complaint alleges violations of NFMA and NEPA on the Cooper Creek Project on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.

Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project.



Western Watersheds Project states they plan to pursue litigation unless the FS initiates and completes new consultation with the USFWS over impacts from grazing to the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

This ESA NOI pertains to the second lawsuit against the Flathead National Forest revised forest plan.  A complaint was filed by the same plaintiffs on NFMA and NEPA issues on April 2.  The first lawsuit was discussed here.

  • Western Watersheds Project v. Schneider (no link)

Sage grouse plans.



The Supreme Court ruled against the State of Wyoming on a case involving interpretation of an 1868 Treaty concerning hunting rights on “unoccupied lands of the United States ….”  This case was previously discussed here.


4 thoughts on “(The return of the official) NFS Litigation Weekly May 22, 2019”

  1. Jon,
    Thanks for posting. Any analysis/thoughts you share on these cases is also very much appreciated!


  2. Thank you, FS folks for continuing this extremely helpful public service!!!And thank you Jon for formatting them and your comments!

  3. The Friends of Wild Swan case is a good example of a frivolous lawsuit found twice to have no merit. I think that point of view is valid, given that any time the FS loses a case there is a point made that “if the agency would just follow the law”. So it is only fair to point out that for every decision tossed because the agency did not follow the law, there is another one where an environmental group wastes the government’s and the taxpayer’s time and money. Does anyone know to what extent the USA can or does seek compensation when it prevails ? Is that also governed by Equal Access to Justice Act ?


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