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Alabama v. U.S. Forest Serv.

Citation: 11 ELR 20779
No. No. CV 79-M-0988, 15 ERC 1800/(N.D. Ala., 02/27/1981)

The court rules that the rerouting of a hiking trail in the Talladega National Forest is not a major federal action requiring preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS). A hiking trail built in the early 1960s was relocated in 1976 as part of a larger trail system. Plaintiffs challenged the adequacy of an EIS to be prepared for the Talladega Scenic Drive, which includes the trail, arguing that the EIS will be improperly based on the new trail system rather than the system prior to relocation, thus limiting consideration of alternatives. The court rules that plaintiffs may not challenge the EIS before it is issued. In addition, the court rules that an EIS on the trail relocation is unnecessary because the relocation is not a major federal action having a significant impact on the human environment.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
James R. Cooper Jr.
Cooper & Cooper
312 Scott St., Montgomery AL 36104
(205) 262-4887

Charles Graddick, Attorney General; L. Gilbert Kendrick, Benjamin Cohen, Ass't Attorneys General
250 State Administrative Bldg., Montgomery AL 36130
(205) 834-5150

Counsel for Defendants
J. R. Brooks, U.S. Attorney; Caryl Privett, Henry Frohsin, Ass't U.S. Attorneys
Rm. 200, Fed'l Cthse., Birmingham AL 35203
(205) 254-1785

Ronald G. Gluck
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2701

James B. Snow
Natural Resources Division, Office of the General Counsel
Department of Agriculture, Washington DC 20250
(202) 447-2619