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Kootenai Tribe of Idaho v. Veneman

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20617
Nos. No. CV01-10-N-EJL, CV01-11-N-EJL, 142 F. Supp. 2d 1231/(D. Idaho, 05/10/2001)

The court enjoins the U.S. Forest Service from implementing all aspects of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which prohibits construction of roads on presently roadless areas in the national forests. The court first holds that the federal government has committed to amendments to its environmental impact statement (EIS) for the roadless rule, and this commitment suggests that the requisite hard look was not taken when the EIS was originally prepared. The court next holds that the government does not provide any explanation as to why the information to be obtained by virtue of the proposed amendments cannot be obtained prior to placing the rule into effect. The court then holds that those challenging the rule have shown that the roadless rule poses serious threats to the national forests and adjoining lands by restricting active management activities that have already been planned and precluding Forest Service officials from considering certain management techniques in planning future management activities. Therefore, those challenging the rule have made the minimal showing of irreparable harm necessary to justify an injunction.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (5 pp., ELR Order No. L-366).

Counsel for Plaintiffs
D. Marc Haws, Ass't U.S. Attorney
U.S. Attorney's Office
First Interstate Center
877 W. Main St., Ste. 201, Boise ID 83702
(208) 334-1211

Counsel for Defendants
Raymond Ludwiscewski
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
1050 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 955-8500