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Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Brazell

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20176
Nos. 3:12-cv-00466, (D. Idaho, 07/25/2014) (Williams, J.)

A district court denied environmental groups' motion for an injunction and stay of an earlier decision that allows logging operations in the Nez Perce National Forest to proceed. The court previously held that the U.S. Forest Service did not act arbitrarily or capriciously when it approved a project intended to improve the Little Slate Creek watershed through aquatic habitat restoration, timber harvest, fuel treatments, and changes to the roads and trails in the area. Under the project, the Forest Service would conduct timber harvest and fuel reduction treatment on up to 2,598 of the 2.2 million acres of the Forest to decrease the risk of a disastrous fire in the future. Below, the group argued that the Forest Service failed to comply with NEPA's mandate to consider and disclose environmental impacts, the National Forest Management Act's mandate to protect biodiversity, and the ESA's mandate to participate in consultation, mitigate harm, and prevent irreparable injury to the environment. But the court disagreed, instead granting summary judgment in favor of the government. The groups then appealed and filed the instant motion for an injunction and stay. Again, the court ruled in the government's favor. The groups are unlikely to succeed on the merits of their claims, and substantial economic and public safety concerns exist were a stay and injunction granted.