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Weekly Cases Update Volume 41, Issue 34

Montana Wilderness Ass'n v. McAllister

ELR 20352
09-36051 et al. (9th Cir., December 2011)

The Ninth Circuit remanded the U.S. Forest Service's 2006 travel management plan for the Gallatin National Forest. The Montana Wilderness Study Act of 1977 requires the Service to ensure that current users of a wilderness study area are able to enjoy the wilderness character of the area as it...

Gallatin National Forest, Wilderness study areas (WSA)

Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar

ELR 20350
10-2130-PHX-DGC (D. Ariz., November 2011)

A district court set aside and remanded the FWS' 12-month finding that the desert bald eagle does not qualify as a distinct population segment (DPS) of bald eagles entitled to statutory protection under the ESA. In 2004, an environmental group petitioned the FWS to list desert eagles as a DPS,...

Findings on petitions to list, §4(b)(3), Wildlife (generally)

Sierra Club v. Van Antwerp

ELR 20346
10-5284 (D.C. Cir. , November 2011)

The D.C. Circuit held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers complied with the CWA when it issued a permit authorizing the discharge of dredge and fill material into wetlands outside Tampa, Florida, for the construction of a large shopping center. An environmental group argued that the Corps...

Permit issuance

Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. Servheen

ELR 20347
09-36100 et al. (9th Cir., November 2011)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court decision vacating the FWS' decision to remove the Yellowstone distinct population segment of grizzly bears from the ESA's threatened species list. Given the lack of data indicating grizzly population stability in the face of...

Threatened species listing, Bears

Alaska v. Lubchenco

ELR 20348
10-0927 (D.D.C., November 2011)

A district court upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS') decision to list the Cook Inlet beluga whale as endangered under the ESA. The state of Alaska, an oil company, and several nonprofit corporations challenged the decision, questioning the rationale behind the NFMS' decision,...

Endangered species listing, Whales

Sierra Club v. United States Department of Energy

ELR 20349
11-514, (D.D.C., November 2011)

A district court denied an environmental group's motion to preliminarily enjoin the DOE from providing funding assistance for the construction and operation of a coal-fired power plant in Mississippi. Before granting the funding, the DOE issued an EIS evaluating the funding's environmental...

Energy, Department of, Injunctive relief, Likelihood of success on the merits

Sweet Lake Land & Oil Co. v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

ELR 20351
2:09 CV 1100 (W.D. La., November 2011)

A district court held that an oil company is liable for property damages caused by its predecessor-in-interest who conducted oil and gas exploration and production activities on the site under three subleases. Article 128 of the Louisiana Mineral Code provides that a sublessee acquires the...

Hazardous wastes & substances, Property