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Oregon Natural Resources Council Fund v. Goodman

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20247
Nos. No. 07-35110, (9th Cir., 09/24/2007)

The Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) in approving the proposed expansion of a ski area in the Rogue River and Klamath National Forests. The Forest Service failed to properly evaluate the impact of the proposed expansion on the Pacific fisher, a sensitive species, in violation of NEPA and the NFMA. The agency's conclusion that the expansion would not negatively impact the fisher was based on an analysis of habitat in the proximity of the project area rather than on documented local and total fisher populations. It also failed to discuss in detail the project's impact upon the fisher as part of the cumulative impact analysis under NEPA. In addition, the agency failed to appropriately designate riparian reserves and restricted watershed terrain as required by Rogue River National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and the Northwest Forest Plan. On remand, the lower court must enjoin the expansion project until the Forest Service has corrected these violations.