This morning arguments were heard in federal court concerning a Justice Department’s motion to split up WWP’s giant (over 25 million acre) BLM lawsuit into several district courts rather than to have one judge hear the case.
Lawyers ask judge to split sweeping grazing suit – Todd Dvorak, Associated Press
Laird Lucas, WWP’s lawyer and Executive Director of Advocates for the West, refuted the government’s motion to split the case :
Laird argued :
- The unlawful defects identified in each of BLM’s management plans were close to identical and would best be decided in a single venue.
- Substantial lands at issue fall within the current district.
- The “template” Resource Management Plan (Craters of the Moon “RMP”) used to guide development of all the others was written in the current district.
- Splitting the case into 6 districts would waste time, energy, resources, and set unfair prejudicial burdens against WWP.
- Sage grouse don’t know which court district they’re in – hearing the case in one court better serves the interest of everyone involved, including sage grouse, as potential for settlement or a court order that would set a better stage for comprehensive resolution of the case better accounts for sage grouse population distributions and threats on the west-wide scale at issue.
This landmark litigation has the potential to positively affect public landscapes throughout the West. Good luck Laird !