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Western Exploration LLC v. U.S. Department of the Interior

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20235
Nos. 3:15-cv-00491, (D. Nev., 12/08/2015) (Du)

A district court denied a motion to preliminarily enjoin BLM and the U.S. Forest Service from implementing certain amendments to their resource management plans that were made to better protect the greater sage-grouse and its habitat. The amended resource management plans govern 67 million acres of federal land across 10 western states. A group of mining companies and counties filed suit challenging the amendments as they apply to over 20 million acres of federal land in Nevada. They claimed that the amendments threaten the way of life for state residents, especially mining and ranching communities. They were also concerned about the amendments' repercussions on travel in rural Nevada, as well as grazing, mining, and local land use planning. And they argued that the amendments may harm the environment by creating an increased risk of wildfire, impede the counties' ability to maintain and repair roads by restricting travel to existing routes, diminish grazing allotments, and dissuade mining investors. But while these allegations are serious, the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that irreparable harm is likely to occur absent preliminary injunctive relief. The court, therefore, denied the motion.