Court decision: The 9th Circuit held that the Olympic National Forest decision to grant a special use permit to the Navy for electronic warfare training was consistent with the forest plan, after allowing documents outside of the administrative record that showed they had considered the availability of private land.
Court decision: The 9th Circuit upheld the Lostine Project on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The use of a categorical exclusion was proper under HFRA, the project met its requirements for collaboration, and it was consistent with the forest plan. (The court did not review the facts of the case, but they were discussed here.)
- Oil & gas fracking
New lawsuit: The State of California and several environmental groups have filed lawsuits against a BLM decision that removed a moratorium on fracking on lands in central California, including some adjacent to national forests. (The second link includes a map.)
New lawsuit: Environmental groups have challenged EPA’s failure to complete plans to address smog related to fracking in 11 states. “Sensitive tree species at risk from ozone pollution include black cherry, quaking aspen, cottonwood and ponderosa pine, which provides critical habitat for threatened species such as the Mexican spotted owl and Pawnee montane skipper.”
Settlement implementation: The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has formally announced a 5-year review of the status of grizzly bears, as agreed to in a partial settlement of litigation mentioned here. This is part of a lawsuit which “ultimately aims to build a plan to eventually bring grizzly bears to more places, including the Sierra Nevada” according to this article.
Notice of Intent: The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Yellowstone to Uintas Connection sent a required 60-day notice to sue to the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They argue that 18 miles of pipeline on national forest land may affect grizzly bears and other listed species. The application of the Idaho Roadless Rule is also involved.
Update: The D. C. Court of Appeals heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by Solenex LLC to reverse its lease cancellation on the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Environmental groups and the Blackfeet Nation have appealed on the side of the government.
Update: The Quiet Title Act claim was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because there is insufficient evidence that the Forest Service has asserted ownership in plaintiff’s land adjacent to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area as part of constructing a trail on an easement across plaintiff’s land. (Other claims remain pending.)