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League of Wilderness Defenders-Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project v. Smith

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20142
Nos. Nos. 04-1595, -1628, (D. Or., 05/17/2007)

A district court awarded an environmental group attorney fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) for their underlying National Environmental Policy Act and National Forest Management Act claim against the U.S. Forest Service. The group challenged the Forest Service's approval of a fire salvage project in the Malheur National Forest. The Forest Service ultimately withdrew its approval of the project, and the court dismissed the case as moot. The group is a prevailing party because it succeeded in securing preliminary injunctive relief. In addition, the Forest Service's position in the underlying litigation was not substantially justified. Hence, an award of EAJA fees to the group is appropriate. Ultimately, the court awarded the group $79,256 in attorney fees—$1,455 less than what it requested—and $9,671 in costs.