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Utah Envtl. Congress v. Troyer

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20067
Nos. No. 05-4183, (10th Cir., 03/21/2007)

The court reversed in part a district court decision affirming the U.S. Forest Service's authorization of six projects in four national forests in Utah. In 2000, the Forest Service substantially amended its planning rules codified at 36 C.F.R. §219. As part of the 2000 planning rules, the Forest Service added a new regulation, §219.35, which attempted to outline how the Forest Service was to "transition" from the old rules to the 2000 rules. Three of the six projects at issue were intended to implement forest plans that pre-dated the 2000 planning rules: two implementing the Manti-La Sal National Forest Plan; and one implementing the Dixie National Forest Plan. Under the transition provision of the 2000 regulations, the Forest Service was required to consider the "best available science" when implementing the three site-specific projects within those two forests, yet the Forest Service failed to do so. On remand, the Forest Service's approval of these projects must be vacated. The court, however, affirmed the authorization of the remaining projects: two in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest; and one in the Uinta National Forest. These three projects were intended to implement forest plans that were revised in 2003 in accordance with the 2000 planning rules.