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KWJams

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#1
Greetings All,
This last February, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the BlueRibbon Coalition and Boise Cascade asked a federal judge in Idaho to order a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the Clinton/Gore Roadless Rule. After full briefing and oral arguments by the parties to the case, the Court conclusively determined that the Forest Service deprived the public of any meaningful dialogue or input in the process when promulgating the Rule. The court also concluded that BlueRibbon and the other plaintiffs would likely succeed in demonstrating that the Forest Service, under the Clinton Administration, violated NEPA by failing to consider a reasonable range of alternative and by failing to analyze the cumulative impacts of the Rule.
But the Court delayed ruling on the motion until the Federal Defendants (Forest Service) submitted a status report to the Court on May 4, 2001. In that status report, the Forest Service told the judge that they would begin to implement the Rule (for an indefinite amount of time) while attempting to fix the unlawful portions of it with yet another rulemaking process.

In pleadings submitted this last Monday, BlueRibbon and the other plaintiffs again requested that Judge Lodge halt the implementation of the Rule noting that doing so would pose serious risk of irreparable harm to America's National Forests by restricting active management activities that have been planned as well as precluding local Forest Officials from planning and implementing future active management activities.

They also argued that the Federal Defendant's proposed "solution" to this mess would "turn the whole NEPA process on its head" by implementing a rule they know is fatally flawed, and then later attempt to "fix" these problems. BlueRibbon argued that the Forest Service, even under the Bush Administration, could not "reach back in time and make the maps adequate, the closed comment periods any longer, or the previously considered alternative and cumulative impacts any more robust."

Today, Judge Lodge granted BlueRibbon's motion, and halted the implementation of the Rule. In his decision Judge Lodged said; "A band-aid approach to something this controversial may mask or obscure the symptoms for political purposes but does not address the "hard look" analysis for a cure as required by NEPA..." The judge noted that the injunction would not stop the Forest Service from studying proposed amendments that might "fix" the Rule. The judge reminded the litigants that a Litigation Plan must be filed on or before June 11, 2001.

A heartfelt congratulations to the Plaintiff's legal team. Don Amador, BRC's Western Regional "Action Man" said it best:

"This is a great victory for those of us who champion responsible use of our public lands. The next time the Forest Service proposes something like this, I would urge them to give all forest users an equal seat at the table."

Don said it right! It's way past time we ended the UNDUE INFLUENCE of rich and powerful Anti Access organizations. Thanks to BlueRibbon for giving the common man (and woman!) a voice!

And thanks to everyone who supports all our Access Advocacy Organizations. Without support from YOU, this victory wouldn't have been possible.
Thank you!
Brian Hawthorne
Utah Shared Access Alliance
 
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#2
YAAAAAAAA!

Thanks for sharing that with us Ken.

Looks like things are finally starting to turn around.:)
 

mtngoat

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#3
This is how to fight the battle!

KW, Excellent post! Thanks so much. This helps re-affirm our direction in the midst of a lot of confusion.
 
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#4
WOOOHOOOO

Notice the part about "without help from YOU"? Anyone who believes in the fight to keep public lands PUBLIC needs to get involved with an orginization such as Blue Ribbon or many other local orginizations and let your oppinion be known.
 

LoriKTM

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#5
Woohoo! Thanks for the update, KW. BlueRibbon's going to get a little extra $urprise in my renewal envelope this week.