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Forest Guardians v. Forsgren

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20053
Nos. No. 05-2181, (10th Cir., 02/23/2007)

The Tenth Circuit dismissed environmental groups' suit to compel the U.S. Forest Service to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as to whether the national forest land and resource management plans (LRMPs) for the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests may jeopardize the continued existence of a distinct population segment of Canada lynx. The group alleged that "[i]mplementation of the Carson and Santa Fe National Forest LRMPs are 'agency actions'" within the meaning of Endangered Species Act (ESA) §7(a)(2). But the standards, guidelines, policies, criteria, land designations, and the like appearing within an LRMP do not constitute "action" requiring consultation under §7(a)(2) of the ESA. Because the group has not alleged any activity, project, or program authorized, funded, or carried out by the Forest Service that might constitute "action" within §7(a)(2) of the ESA, the Forest Service has no duty to consult with the FWS.