Description: Challenge to resource management plan amendments for federal lands in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming.
Western Organization of Resource Councils v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/24/2021 Order Download Motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, to sever and transfer, and to stay. Citing “Unique Background” of Case, Montana Federal Court Rejected Transfer of Claims Regarding Public Lands in Wyoming. The federal district court for the District of Montana denied the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) request that the court dismiss or transfer claims challenging a resource management plan amendment for federal lands in Wyoming. The suit also involved a challenge to a resource management plan amendment for lands in Montana. All of the lands at issue in the case are located in the Powder River Basin. In 2018, the Montana federal court invalidated the previous resource management plans for the same areas, finding that the environmental reviews were inadequate. This suit involves the plaintiffs’ claims that the resource management plan amendments developed in response to the court’s previous orders failed to comply with those orders or with federal law. The court—which also rejected BLM’s motion to dismiss and sever or transfer the Wyoming-related claims in the earlier case—again found that venue was proper in the District of Montana because the case did not involve real property, the plaintiffs reside in the district, and a substantial part of the events giving rise to this case (including the court’s prior decisions) occurred in the district. The court also declined to exercise its discretion to sever and transfer the Wyoming RMP claims, finding that the plaintiffs’ “elevated interest in prevention of inconsistent judgments and judicial economy rooted in the unique background of this case outweigh the interest in having localized controversies decided at home.” 08/27/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed.