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Swanson Group Mfg. LLC v. Salazar

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20141
Nos. 10-1843, (D.D.C., 06/26/2013) (Leon, J.)

A district court held unlawful BLM's methodology for assessing the impact of federal actions on the northern spotted owl as well as its failure to offer for sale a declared amount of timber from two western Oregon districts. Under the Oregon and California Lands Act of 1937 (O&C Act), once BLM declares an annual sustained yield capacity, it must sell that amount or so much thereof as can be sold at reasonable prices on a normal market. Here, it is undisputed that BLM has failed to do so for several years since 2004. The court, therefore, ordered BLM to sell or offer for sale the declared annual sustained yield capacity of timber for the two districts for each future year, in accordance with the O&C Act. In addition, BLM unlawfully developed and used its owl estimation methodology without submitting it to the notice and comment procedures of the APA. The methodology was a final, legislative-type rule that should have been subjected to notice and comment.