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Lands Council v. McNair

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20160
Nos. No. 07-35000, (9th Cir., 07/02/2007)

The court reversed and remanded a lower court judgment denying environmental groups' motion to preliminarily enjoin the U.S. Forest Service's selective logging of 3,829 acres of forest in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The groups demonstrated a probability of success on the merits and a possibility of irreparable injury. The Forest Service failed to prove the reliability of its scientific methodology with regard to wildlife habitat restoration in the project. The groups, therefore, are likely to succeed on their National Forest Management Act claim. The groups are also likely to succeed on their claim that the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to include a full discussion of the scientific uncertainty surrounding its strategy for improving wildlife habitat. In addition, the groups showed that the balance of hardships and the public interest favored granting the preliminary injunction. The permanent and certain harm of violating the environmental laws outweighs the speculative harm that might result from a failure to engage in a statutorily prohibited activity, and the public interest in preserving nature and avoiding irreparable environmental injury outweighs economic concerns.