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Western Watersheds Project v. Kenna

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20086
Nos. 12-15110, (9th Cir., 05/04/2015)

The Ninth Circuit upheld BLM's resource management plan (RMP) and EIS for five allotments within the 1.3 million acres of land administered by BLM in Southwestern Arizona and Southeastern California. Environmental groups that wanted to reduce the amount of livestock grazing allowed on the lands challenged the RMP and EIS in district court, but that court ruled in the government's favor. The appellate court affirmed. The district court did not err in concluding that BLM took the necessary "hard look" at the impacts of continuing grazing on five allotments within the planning area, including sufficient analysis of the impacts of livestock grazing, and the cumulative impacts of past grazing. BLM appropriately relied on agency expertise in a variety of areas, and the EIS incorporated a sufficient amount of data to justify the "hard look" requirement. BLM also considered a reasonable range of alternatives in the EIS.