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Sierra Club v. Bosworth

ELR Citation: 32 ELR 20618
Nos. No. 01-3901 MMC, 199 F. Supp. 2d 971/(N.D. Cal., 04/17/2002)

The court holds that the U.S. Forest Service's environmental impact statement (EIS) for a post-fire logging project on the Six Rivers National Forest violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) and, therefore, enjoins the Forest Service from any further implementation of the project until it prepares a supplemental EIS. The court first holds that the EIS fails to disclose and analyze scientific opinion in support of and in opposition to the conclusion that the project will reduce the intensity of future wildfires in the project area. Likewise, the Forest Service failed to address scientific evidence that opposes post-fire logging. The court next holds that although the EIS contains a reasonably thorough analysis of the cumulative impact on soils, it fails to adequately disclose or analyze cumulative impacts on management indicator species, fuel break maintenance, or fire-fighting tactics. The court further holds that while the project is not connected to other post-fire logging projects in the forest, the Forest Service failed to adequately disclose and consider cumulative and similar actions in the EIS. The court next holds that the EIS also violates the NFMA by failing to demonstrate compliance with the Six Rivers National Forest plan with respect to soil porosity, but it complies with the NFMA in all other respects. Consequently, in light of the potential for detrimental effects on the environment and the unlikelihood that the Forest Service or public will suffer harm during the pendency of an injunction, the court enjoins the implementation of the project until the Forest Service prepares an adequate EIS.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Marc Fink
Western Environmental Law Center
1216 Lincoln St., Eugene OR 97401
(541) 485-2471

Counsel for Defendants
Charles O'Connor
U.S. Attorney's Office
1301 Clay St., Ste. 340-S, Oakland CA 94612
(510) 637-3680

Chesney, J.