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Wyoming Sawmills Inc. v. U.S. Forest Serv.

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20098
Nos. No. 02-8009, (10th Cir., 09/21/2004)

The Tenth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a timber company's claim challenging the U.S. Forest Service's Historical Preservation Plan (HPP) for the Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark and Vicinity in the Bighorn National Forest. The Forest Service rejected the company's challenge to the HPP, which recognizes explicitly that the cultural and historic importance of the Medicine Wheel is, for many Native Americans, an element of their religious tradition. The company then filed suit in federal court. The company, however, lacked standing to pursue its constitutional claim. The company failed to allege a non-economic injury under the Establishment Clause, and its alleged economic injury of the loss of opportunity for logging is not redressable. And although the company had standing to bring its National Forest Management Act, the company failed to show that the Forest Service abused its discretion in finding that Amendment 12, which implemented the HPP, was not a "significant" change to the overall forest plan.