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Southeast Alaska Conservation Council v. United States Forest Service

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20155
Nos. 1:19-cv-00006-SLG, (D. Alaska, 09/23/2019) (Gleason, J.)

A district court preliminarily enjoined the U.S. Forest Service from allowing any timber harvesting, road construction, or other ground-disturbing activities associated with the Service's authorization of a timber sale in Tongass National Forest. Environmental groups, whose members use areas that would be affected by the timber sale for hunting, fishing, gathering, and recreation, argued that timber harvest and road construction authorized by the sale would cause them irreparable harm. The court found that the groups sufficiently demonstrated they would suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction because the harvest of mature trees could not be remedied easily, if at all, and because the EIS for the sale itself stated that road construction was an irreversible action. The groups also argued that the EIS, which contained a condition-based analysis, did not contain enough site-specific information or analysis to comply with NEPA. The court found that the groups had at least raised serious questions that went to the merits of their NEPA claim, and therefore issued the preliminary injunction.