Conservation Congress v. United States Forest Service

Filing 57

ORDER signed by Judge Lawrence K. Karlton on 5/19/14: 50 Defendant's motion to amend the judgment is hereby DENIED, except that it may proceed with hazard tree abatement of the 0.23 miles of Maintenance Level 3 roads, as described by plaintiffs in their Opposition brief. See ECF No. 53 at 4-5. (Kaminski, H)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 CONSERVATION CONGRESS, 12 13 14 No. CIV. S-13-0832 LKK/DAD Plaintiff, v. ORDER UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE, 15 Defendant. 16 17 On September 6, 2013, this court enjoined defendant U.S. 18 Forest Service from carrying out any actions pursuant to the Mill 19 Fire Salvage and Hazard Tree Removal Project (the “Project”), 20 other than those already approved by this court. 21 No. 47) at 53. 22 the Forest Service’s July 12 Notice, and involved only work on 23 three miles of transportation roads and at the Old Mill 24 Campground. 25 this work. 26 Injunction (ECF The activities already approved were described in See Notice, ECF No. 33. Plaintiff did not object to ECF No. 37. The Forest Service now moves for an order altering this 27 court’s injunction to permit “hazard tree abatement” along 28 approximately 19.19 miles of roads and 9.72 miles of trails in 1 1 the Project area. 2 Forest Service asserts that “[o]nly hazard trees within striking 3 distance of a road or trail would be felled, and all trees that 4 are cut would be left in place except to clear debris that 5 obstructs travel.” 6 of the 19.19 miles of roads proposed to be abated, “approximately 7 0.91 miles of roads … are within 1.5 kilometers of Activity 8 Center 3019,” and that of the 9.72 miles of trails, “0.72 miles 9 of trails are within 1.5 kilometers of Activity Center 3019.” Motion To Alter (“Motion”) (ECF No. 51). Id., at 3.1 The The Forest Service asserts that 10 Declaration of Mike Van Dame, October 1, 2013 (ECF No. 52) ¶¶ 8 11 & 9. 12 Plaintiff opposes the motion, except that it agrees to the 13 abatement of “the 0.23 miles of Maintenance Level 3 roads which 14 are subject to the Court’s order.” 15 (“Opposition”) (ECF No. 53) at 3. Opposition to Motion To Alter 16 ANALYSIS 17 This court’s prior order remanded the matter back to the 18 Forest Service for its failure to analyze the cumulative effects 19 of its project, its flawed findings that the project would have 20 no significant impact on the environment and that it would not 21 affect the foraging habitat of the Northern Spotted Owl, and its 22 failure to consult with or obtain the concurrence of the U.S. 23 Fish & Wildlife Service about the project’s possible impact on 24 the owl. ECF No. 47. The Forest Service’s motion to amend does 25 1 26 27 The Forest Service does not request permission to conduct any of the other activities proposed in the Project, namely, those relating to salvage timber harvest, fuel reduction, site preparation or reforestation. Motion at 6 n.2. 28 2 1 not address any of these problems, nor give the court any comfort 2 that permitting the requested activity would avoid the problems 3 already identified by the court. 4 amend its prior order, except to the degree plaintiffs have 5 expressed no opposition. 6 7 Accordingly, the court will not CONCLUSION Defendant’s motion to amend the judgment is hereby DENIED, 8 except that it may proceed with hazard tree abatement of the 0.23 9 miles of Maintenance Level 3 roads, as described by plaintiffs in 10 their Opposition brief. 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. 12 DATED: See ECF No. 53 at 4-5. May 19, 2014. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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