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Oregon Natural Resources Council Fund v. Brong

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20187
Nos. Nos. 05-35063, -35062, (9th Cir., 07/24/2007)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court order invalidating the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) plan to log nearly 1,000 acres of protected land in Southwest Oregon after a major forest fire. BLM misinterpreted the relevant land use plan to allow the logging. Specifically, it relied on an erroneous interpretation of the plan's managing directives for certain protected areas. Consequently, the snag retention and research logging components of the project are inconsistent with the forest plan and violate the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. In addition, BLM failed to analyze the impact of the logging project when combined with previous fire suppression efforts, salvage logging on interspersed private lands, and salvage logging on deferred watersheds. BLM's environmental impact statement for the logging plan, therefore, did not contain an adequate cumulative effects analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act. The lower court, therefore, properly ordered that the plan be permanently enjoined.