News & Analysis as of

Forest Service

Municipalities' Water Withdrawal: NEPA/National Forest Management Act Challenge to U.S. Forest Service Authorization

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (“Court”) addressed in an October 23rd opinion Plaintiffs-Appellants Central Oregon LandWatch and WaterWatch of Oregon (collectively “Plaintiffs”) challenge to the United...more

Sixth Circuit Balances Rights of Forest Service and Rights of Private Property Owners Provided by Michigan Law

Balancing the interests of the Federal Government as owner of thousands of acres surrounding Crooked Lake and private owners’ rights, on July 26, in a 2 to 1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that...more

Forest Service approves transmission lines

by PretiFlaherty on

The U.S. Forest Service has released its final approvals for two major electricity transmission lines proposed for development across several western states, issuing Records of Decision for the TransWest Express and Energy...more

Secretary Zinke Orders Review of Sage-grouse Management Plans

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 8th, 2017, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353, entitled “Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States.” This Order initiates the assessment of both...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Forest Service’s Construction of New Roads in Grizzly Bear Habitat

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 17, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana and upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s (Forest Service) decision to construct 4.7 miles...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2017 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump EPA pick: still 'some debate' over human role in climate change - The Guardian - Jan 18 - During a combative Senate confirmation hearing this week, Scott Pruitt,...more

10th Circuit: NM Laws Purporting To Authorize “Self-Help” Preempted

On December 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit decided the case of United States v. Board of County Commissioners of Otero County, New Mexico. The Tenth Circuit held that a New Mexico statute and resolution...more

Environmental Notes - November 2016

by Williams Mullen on

EPA has revised its procedures for making certain changes to its “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” also known as SW-846. The test method and its compendium of guidance documents provide...more

North Carolina Federal Court Gives Go Ahead for Shooting Range on Public Land

by Williams Mullen on

The U. S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina recently upheld approval by the U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) of a recreational shooting range in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest. The case is...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies U.S. Forest Service’s Petition for Review in Canadian Lynx Case

by Nossaman LLP on

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the U.S. Forest Service’s (“Forest Service”) petition for writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Cottonwood Environmental...more

Alta Ski Area conduit micro-hydro project

by PretiFlaherty on

Alta Ski Area has proposed developing a micro-hydropower project along an existing pipeline, and hopes to benefit from a streamlined regulatory process. Federal regulators have made a preliminary determination that the...more

Activists Using Misinformation to Kill Fracking in Wayne National Forest

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

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

by Allen Matkins on

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

by PretiFlaherty on

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!

by Nossaman LLP on

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

by Allen Matkins on

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...

by K&L Gates LLP on

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

by WilmerHale on

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

by Nossaman LLP on

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

by Allen Matkins on

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

by Perkins Coie on

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

by K&L Gates LLP on

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

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