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Lands Council v. Martin

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20151
Nos. No. 07-35804, (9th Cir., 06/25/2008) Aff'd in part & rev'd in part

The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court judgment holding that the U.S. Forest Service complied with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) in connection with a salvage logging operation conducted in the aftermath of a forest fire in the Umatilla National Forest. The court agreed with the Forest Service that its site-specific amendment to the definition of "live trees" was not significant. In addition, the soil analysis contained in the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project violated neither NEPA nor the NFMA. The Forest Service, however, failed to include an adequate discussion of the effects of proposed logging on two significant roadless areas. The EIS contains a three-page analysis on "roadless character," but the cursory nature of the discussion and legal errors in it render it insufficient to meet the requirements of NEPA.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 37 ELR 20045.]