Description: Challenge to reviews for timber salvage project on federal lands in Idaho.
Idaho Rivers United v. Probert
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/12/2016 Memorandum Download Court issued memorandum decision and order regarding motion for preliminary injunction. Federal Court in Idaho Stopped Work on Timber Salvage Project, Said It Would Consider Climate Change Arguments in Merits Adjudication. The federal district court for the District of Idaho granted a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent on-the-ground timber harvesting operations on federal land surrounding the Lower Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater watersheds in Idaho. The plaintiffs in the action asserted that the United States Forest Service and other federal defendants did not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the National Forest Management Act, and the Endangered Species Act when they approved a timber salvage project after a 2014 wildfire. The district court found that the plaintiffs had established that they were likely to succeed on the merits of two NEPA claims and one Wild and Scenic Rivers Act claim. The court also found that the plaintiffs had shown irreparable harm and that preservation of the status quo was in the public interest. The court noted that the plaintiffs had raised arguments in their reply papers regarding the environmental review’s failure to consider climate effects on sedimentation in detail. The court said it would defer these issues for full consideration during further proceedings. The court asked the parties to file a joint litigation plan providing for an expedited schedule for adjudication on the merits.