Forest Service

News & Analysis as of

Activists Using Misinformation to Kill Fracking in Wayne National Forest

A large billboard has been placed by anti-fracking extremists across from the Wayne National Forest (“the Wayne”) headquarters on U.S. Rt. 33 near Nelsonville, Ohio. The billboard declares, “Frack our national forest? No...more

10th Circ.: Permit Issuance Is Not State Action For Purposes of 14th Amendment

On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Wasatch Equality, et al., v. Alta Ski Lifts Company, et al., affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that the U.S. Forest Service, in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Community and environmental groups sue South Coast Air District over rules adoption - Los Angeles Times - Mar 9 - Community groups and environmentalists filed suit this week...more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

ESA Roundup – Lawmakers and Lions, Oh My!

After weeks of negotiations, on December 18, 2015, Congress finally approved the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus spending bill. One hotly debated issue related to the controversial greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). ...more

Renewable Energy Update - December 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Solar companies surge as U.S. tax credit brings early holiday - Bloomberg - - Dec 16 In a deal announced late Tuesday, Congress approved an additional five years for the solar...more

Presidential Memorandum Promotes Pre-Project Mitigation and Restoration Banking: Implications for Energy Projects and Related...

On November 3, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (Memorandum) that potentially opens the door to agency attempts to expand mitigation obligations beyond what is required under law while also...more

Administration Announces New Mitigation Policies

This afternoon, the Administration issued two policies intended to encourage private investment in natural resource conservation and to facilitate application of the mitigation hierarchy—avoiding, minimizing and compensating...more

“Open and Frank Discussions” or Agency-Level Protest

In Coulson Aviation (USA), Inc. (B-411525, B-411525.2, 2015 CPD ¶ 272), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently denied a contractor’s protest over the terms of a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the...more

United States Geological Survey and Other Agencies Announce Sagebrush Restoration Handbook Series

On the heels of the recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) decision not to list the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the Endangered Species Act and the concurrent Bureau of Land Management (BLM)...more

Renewable Energy Update - October 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown authorizes streamlined groundwater: Allen Matkins - Oct 13: On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed a suite of bills that has the potential to significantly...more

Sonoran Desert Tortoise Not Endangered or Threatened Says FWS

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service determined on October 5, 2015 that the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, found primarily in Arizona, does not qualify as either an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered...more

Greater Sage-Grouse Avoids ESA Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, that it would not list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). This decision represents a change of direction...more

Jesus is Just Alright, Holds the Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s decision ruling that a twelve foot statute of Jesus near Montana’s Big Mountain does not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The statue, known as “Big Mountain...more

Greater sage-grouse and land use in the inter-mountain west

The greater sage-grouse—a ground-dwelling, chicken-like bird—has been the focus of controversy pitting conservation against energy development and ranching interests across the inter-mountain west. The greater sage-grouse’s...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report EPA is announcing the availability of its Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ESA 60-Day Notice "Adequate" and Resurrects Challenge to Suction Dredge Mining Suit

On August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order dismissing an Endangered Species Act ("ESA") lawsuit on the grounds plaintiffs provided inadequate notice. Klamath-Siskiyou...more

D.C. District Court Judge Chastises the Department of the Interior, Ordering It to Deliver a Plan on a BLM Drilling Permit, After...

On July 27, 2015, D.C. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon entered a strongly worded order in Solenex LLC v. Jewell, chastising the defendants, including the Department of the Interior and numerous other federal agencies,...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Forest Service Violated ESA by Failing to Reinitiate Consultation for Canada Lynx

On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish...more

Sage Grouse Status Hangs in the Balance as BLM Moves to Adopt Conservation Plans for Ten Western States

On May 29, 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, released Final Environmental Impact Statements for proposed amendments to existing Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for...more

NEPA Revised Draft Guidance on Consideration of GHG Emissions: Version 2.0 - Proposal Requires Federal Agencies to Assess GHG and...

Nearly five years after issuing its initial draft, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) continues to revise its draft guidance on conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) impact analyses under the National...more

D.C. Court Upholds Forest Service’s 2012 Planning Rule

In a decision issued April 28, 2015, a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed an action challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s (Service) 2012 National Forest Planning Rule (Planning Rule). The Service is...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Army Corps jurisdictional determinations subject to pre-permit judicial review, Eighth Circuit says - Allen Matkins - Apr 13: EPA and Army Corps of Engineers imposition of federal...more

NEPA Review — Still the Land of Deference

Last week, District Judge Ralph Beistline allowed the summary judgment motion filed by the United States Forest Service, and dismissed citizen claims challenging the Forest Service decision to approve an logging project in an...more

District Court Limits Tiering of Biological Opinions

On December 5, 2014, a federal district court held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it relied entirely on existing programmatic biological opinions to...more

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