NFS Litigation Weekly August 7th & 14th, 2019

Forest Service summaries:  August 7 and 14, 2019 Litigation Weekl


The District Court of Montana denied the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction to enjoin the Agency from constructing the Porcupine Ibex Trail on the Custer Gallatin National Forest.  Background here, and discussed here.

The Court for the Eastern District of California ruled favorably for the Forest Service on all claims associated with cattle grazing in three livestock allotments on the Stanislaus National Forest.

The District Court of Arizona vacated the Forest Service’s Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Rosemont large scale copper pit-mining operation within the boundary of the Coronado National Forest.  (According to this article, Federal District Judge James Soto said in his decision Wednesday that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its duty to protect the Coronado National Forest” when it failed to consider whether the mining company held valid unpatented mining claims.)

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the appellants’ motion for injunction pending appeal of the Moose Creek Project on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forests under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (2014 Farm Bill) Categorical Exclusion.


The Central District Court of California will hear a case against the Cuddy Valley Forest Health/Fuels Reduction Project on the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF), which was analyzed and authorized under a 36 C.F.R. § 220.6(e)(6) categorical exclusion (CE) for timber stand and/or wildlife habitat improvement activities.  More on this lawsuit here.  This is the second project discussed here that is now under litigation.

Western Watersheds sent an NOI claiming the Forest Service is violating the ESA by failing to reinitiate consultation regarding impacts of its grazing management on listed fish (shortnose sucker and the Lost River sucker) and their designated critical habitat on the Modoc National Forest.



In other mining news, state courts in Minnesota have approved the state rules that would allow the PolyMet copper-nickel mine planned within the watershed of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in the Superior National Forest, but blocked the mine itself until it addresses “procedural irregularities.”  In Colorado, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled companies must reclaim uranium mines that sit idle for more than 10 years.

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