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Colorado Farm Bureau Fed'n v. U.S. Forest Serv.

Citation: 30 ELR 20678
No. No. 99-1125, 220 F.3d 1171/50 ERC 2118/(10th Cir., 07/18/2000)

The court holds that farmer and cattlemen associations lack standing under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 551(13), to challenge the U.S. Forest Service's involvement with the Colorado lynx recovery plan, which concerns the introduction of Canadian lynx into the state. The court first holds that an agreement between the U.S. Department of the Interior and Colorado concerning programs to manage the state's declining native species does not constitute final agency action. The document is merely a general agreement for state and federal agencies to work together in the future on specific projects. The court also holds that a letter written from the Regional Forester pleading the Forest Service's readiness to aid Colorado in implementing the lynx recovery plan is not final agency action. An agency's intent to take action if requested does not constitute final agency action under APA § 551(13). Similarly, the court holds that the Forest Service's participation with Colorado in formulating the plan does not constitute final agency action. Because the associations failed to identify a final agency action, they lack the statutory standing required to bring their claim under the APA.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
William P. Pendley
Mountain States Legal Foundation
1660 Lincoln St., Ste. 2300, Denver CO 80264
(303) 861-0244

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

Before Tacha and Kelly, JJ.