Forest Service summaries: Litigation Weekly April 17_2020_email
In Native Ecosystem Council v. Martin, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court and upheld the Johnny Crow wildlife habitat improvement project on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest based on a wildlife habitat improvement categorical exclusion.
In another Native Ecosystem Council v. Martin, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court and upheld the Moose Creek Vegetation Project on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest based on a HFRA categorical exclusion.
In BARK v. U. S. Forest Service, the District Court of Oregon held that Crystal Clear Restoration Project on the Mt. Hood National Forest required an EIS. (This was also included last week.)
In Mountain Pursuit v. U.S. Forest Service, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint (after their previous complaint was dismissed without prejudice) regarding ongoing motorized and mechanized use in wilderness study areas on the Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forests and its effects on ESA-listed species. (D. Wyo.)
In Western Watershed Project v. Bernhardt, a second plaintiff is challenging the Upper Green River Area Rangeland Project on the Bridger-Teton National Forest regarding impacts on the grizzly bear and the Kendall Warm Springs dace. The first case, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, was summarized here. (D. D.C.)
NOTICES OF INTENT
WildEarth Guardians and the Western Watersheds Project claim the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service are violating ESA by authorizing livestock grazing on three allotments on the Colville National Forest without proper consultation on several listed and candidate species.
The Center for Biodiversity intends to sue the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service concerning the impacts of region-wide restoration projects on the Mexican spotted owl in New Mexico and Arizona. (The link actually goes to the Colville notice.)
(New case, BLM) Advocates for the West and other plaintiffs say the Bureau of Land Management’s 2019 plan for the conservation area sanctioned destructive levels of livestock grazing on lands that were supposed to be protected. (An NOI under ESA is pending.) (D. Ariz.)
(Administrative objection) Yellowstone to Uintas Connection and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed a formal Objection and a call for a full Environmental Impact Statement with the Manti La Sal National Forest, objecting to the Cottonwood Range Improvements Project, for the grazing allotment managed by The Nature Conservancy’s Dugout Ranch.
(Court decision involving FWS) The Arizona federal district court has overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s approval of a permit for the proposed Rosemont copper mine in the Coronado National Forest because FWS improperly estimated the potential groundwater drawdown from the mine’s operations and how that might impact several endangered species in the Santa Rita Mountains. An earlier court decision also reversed the decision based on terrestrial species.
(FWS action required by injunction) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a 60-day public comment period to help determine the scope of its analysis for rewriting the rule for Mexican gray wolf management in Arizona and New Mexico.
(NOI, FWS) Four conservation groups intend to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision in November 2019 that the California spotted owl did not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act.
(NOI, FWS) Three conservation groups intend to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision in December 2019 that the red tree vole, found in northwest Oregon, did not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act.
(New case against the state forestry agency) The Wendell State Forest Alliance has filed a lawsuit in county court against the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s selective harvesting of an 80-acre old oak stand. The main issue is that older trees that would be cut sequester more carbon, but the DCR is putting a higher priority on the forest’s long-term health.