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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Hodel

Citation: 17 ELR 21012
No. No. 86-1687, 819 F.2d 927/26 ERC 1541/(9th Cir., 06/15/1987) Aff'd

The court holds that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in its preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) and management framework plan (MFP) for livestock grazing in the Reno, Nevada, area, did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA), or BLM regulations. The court holds that the BLM did not violate NEPA by adopting a course of action prior to the issuance of the EIS. Nor did the BLM violate NEPA by failing to include in the EIS specific proposals or alternatives for each grazing allotment, by not including a "no grazing" alternative, or by failing to include site-specific estimates of grazing capacity. The court holds that the EIS adequately describes the proposed action. The court also holds that the MFP does not violate the policies of FLPMA, PRIA, and BLM regulations that public rangelands be improved, and that the MFP is sufficiently detailed despite its failure to determine grazing capacity or allocate forage for each allotment. Finally, the court holds that the BLM's decision to decline to adjust grazing levels until further data is collected is not arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law.

[The district court decision is published at 16 ELR 20508.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
David B. Edelson, Johanna H. Wald
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
25 Kearny St., San Francisco CA 94108
(415) 421-6561.

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
John T. Stahr
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2000

Before Hall and Wiggins, JJ.