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Portland Audubon Soc'y v. Hodel

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 21210
Nos. No. 87-1160-FR, (D. Or., 04/20/1988) Defendant's motion to dismiss granted

The court holds that a congressional continuing resolution limiting judicial review of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) timber management plans (TMPs) precludes a challenge to timber sales in old-growth timber stands in Oregon that provide habitat for the northern spotted owl. The resolution allows the Forest Service and BLM to use existing management plans until new plans mandated by the National Forest Management Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act are completed, and prohibits challenges to the plans based solely on information gained subsequent to the plan's completion. TMPs for BLM lands in Oregon were completed in the early 1980s, but subsequent studies generated new information regarding the habitat requirements and biological status of the northern spotted owl. The court holds that plaintiffs' challenge to BLM's timber sales in old-growth stands in western Oregon is prohibited by the continuing resolution. Plaintiffs allege that the TMPs are outdated with respect to treatment of the northern spotted owl, and they base this allegation solely upon the information that has become available since the completion of the existing TMPs. The court rejects plaintiffs' argument that the resolution cannot repeal the judicial review provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by implication. The resolution expressly limits judicial review of TMPs, and Congress' failure to cite the APA in so limiting review is immaterial.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Victor M. Sher, Todd D. True
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
216 First Ave. S., Suite 330, Seattle WA 98104
(206) 343-7340

Counsel for Federal Defendant
Charles H. Turner, U.S. Attorney; Thomas C. Lee, Ass't U.S. Attorney
312 U.S. Courthouse, Portland OR 97205
(503) 221-2101

Counsel for Defendants-Intervenors
Mark C. Rutzick
Preston, Thorgrimson, Ellis & Holman
3200 U.S. Bancorp Tower
111 S.W. Fifth Ave., Portland OR 97204
(503) 228-3200