Forest Service summaries: 2019_09_18 and 25_Litigation Weekly_Email
The district court invalidated the biological opinion on Mexican spotted owls prepared by the FWS for forest plans for the Lincoln, Santa Fe, Cibola, Carson, and Gila National Forests in New Mexico, and the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. Timber management actions on these forests have been enjoined. (D. Ariz.) (See other discussions on this blog here and here.)
The district court issued a preliminary injunction for the Twin Mountain Timber Sale, which is part of the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project on the Tongass National Forest, and involves the newly popular “condition-based analysis.” (D. Alaska) (We have discussed this case here.)
The district court granted the Forest Service’s motion for Summary Judgment regarding its Emergency Situation Determination for its decision to authorize the Cove Fire Salvage Project on the Modoc National Forest. (E. D .Cal.)
The plaintiffs claim HUD violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when authorizing relief funds to the Forest Service for clear cutting activities and construction of a new biomass power plant utilizing the timber as feedstock following the 2013 Rim Fire on the Stanislaus National Forest. (N. D. Cal.)
NOTICE OF INTENT
The parties have notified the Lincoln National Forest and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service of their intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act to reinitiate consultation to protect the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse from grazing activities on two allotments.
Conservationists want a California judge to set aside Placer County’s approval of a 2.2-mile long gondola that would pass through the Tahoe national forest to connect the bases of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts. About 20% of the project, including five of the towers, would be located on the Tahoe National Forest near the Granite Chief Wilderness Area. The project won preliminary approval from the Forest Service earlier this year and is awaiting final approval after 12 organizations and individuals objected to their draft record of decision.
Conservation groups and a Native American tribe have sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to challenge a key water permit allowing the PolyMet open-pit copper mine to move forward in Minnesota’s Superior National Forest. Other related litigation was described here, here and here.