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Sierra Club v. Butz

ELR Citation: 6 ELR 20369
Nos. No. 71-2514, (9th Cir., 03/23/1976) Remanded

The Ninth Circuit remands this challenge to a Forest Service timber sale, in which a motion for a new trial is currently pending, to the federal district court in Alaska for the purpose of considering plaintiffs' more recent motion for rehearing or, in the alternative, summary reversal. The latter motion is based on the Fourth Circuit's ruling in West Virginia Division of the Izaak Walton League v. Butz, 5 ELR 20572, that the Organic Act of 1897 bans clearcutting in the national forests.

A dissent argues that the district court should first be allowed to rule on the motion for a new trial; if the motion is denied, plaintiffs could then raise their Organic Act claims in the context of an appeal from that denial, otherwise the contentions could be presented at trial.

For the court's decision to remand the motion for a new trial, see 3 ELR 20292. The district court's initial decision upholding the validity of the timber sale appeared at 1 ELR 20161.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Warren W. Matthews
Matthews, Donne & Bailey
429 D Street, Suite 201
Anchorage AK 99501
(907) 272-2491

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
G. Kent Edwards, U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 680
Anchorage AK 99510
(907) 277-1491

Manley B. Strayer
Davies, Biggs, Strayer, Stoel & Boley
900 S.W. Fifth Avenue
Portland OR 97204
(502) 224-3380

Duniway & Merrill, JJ.; Trask, J., dissents with separate opinion.