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Friends of the Wild Swan v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv.

ELR Citation: 26 ELR 20351
Nos. No. 94-1318-JO, 896 F. Supp. 1025/(D. Or., 07/06/1995)

The court holds that landowners, timber companies, and a sport fisherman guide may not intervene in an environmental group's action to compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list the bull trout as an endangered species. The court holds that the proposed intervenors cannot satisfy all the factors for intervention as of right under Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a)(2). They do not have a legally protectable interest, because they merely seek to interject their fishing and timber interests outside of the administrative record to which the court's review is limited. Also, their interests will not be impaired by this lawsuit, because the only lawful remedy favorable to the environmental group is remand of the case to FWS for further consideration. If the court remands the case to FWS and the agency decides to list the bull trout, the proposed intervenors will have an adequate forum to challenge a decision adverse to their interests. The court also holds that the proposed intervenors may not permissively intervene under Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b)(2), because allowing them to interject their concerns as full parties would merely confuse the relevant issues.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Gary K. Kahn
Reeves & Kahn
610 SW Alder St., Rm. 910, Portland OR 97205
(503) 227-5144

Counsel for Defendants
Ellen J. Kohler
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000