|Posted by nationalforestlawblog on March 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM|
Just following up on a new decision that was originally posted back on February 8th from Idaho. The case was a victory for environmental groups looking to further restrict motorized use on the forest. In this case, the district court upheld in part and invalidated in part the travel management plan for the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The court determined that certain decisions in the plan were not supported by the record. Of note, the court failed to locate support in the record for the agency's decision to exclude from its cumulative impacts analysis the combined effect of motorized routes less than one-half mile long on the wilderness values and roadless characteristics of recommended wilderness areas and inventoried roadless areas. Because the Forest Service lost on part of the case, prevailing on the range of alternatives under NEPA and on plaintiff’s request for temporary, emergency road closures is a hollow victory.