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WildEarth Guardians v. US Forest Service

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20175
Nos. 2:20-CV-223-RMP, (E.D. Wash., 09/10/2021) (Peterson, J.)

A district court granted summary judgment for the Forest Service in environmental groups' lawsuit concerning federally permitted livestock grazing in Colville National Forest. The groups argued the Service violated NEPA and the National Forest Management Act (NMFA) by failing to adequately assess the impact on gray wolves, and the ESA by failing to consult with FWS over its potential impact to endangered species. The court found that the groups' asserted injury with respect to NEPA and NFMA claims was not redressable because the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was the agency primarily responsible for wolf management operations, and thus that they lacked standing for those claims. It also found that the Service's failure to consult over the effects of grazing to the whitepark pine, Canada lynx, or grizzly bear did not violate the ESA because the agency either satisfied its consultation obligations or consultation was not required. It therefore denied summary judgment for the groups, and granted the Service's cross-motion.