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American Forest Resource Council v. United States

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20050
Nos. 16-1599 (RJL), 16-1602 (RJL), 17-280 (RJL), and 17-441 (RJL), (D.D.C., 03/31/2019) (Leon, J.)

A district court ordered BLM to provide an explanation for how management of timber harvest on certain federal land (O&C land) in western Oregon had changed, if at all, after President Obama designated approximately 16,000 acres of O&C land as part of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Timber industry groups argued that the proclamation violated the Oregon and California Railroad and Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands Act because the Act precluded O&C timberland from being set aside for any purposes other than commercial timber production. The court found that the Act permitted some discretion in managing O&C lands, but that discretion was limited by the Act's mandates, and BLM did not present evidence showing how it reconciled the land use restrictions effectively imposed by the proclamation with the timber harvest obligations imposed by the Act. It therefore remanded to BLM to explain how O&C land within and outside the national monument's boundaries is currently being managed, including any explanation for the changes, or lack thereof, to the land's management plans following issuance of the monument.