9th Circuit makes it easier for citizens to temporarily stop a gov’t project

Court of Appeals limits scope of Supreme Court decision and overturns Judge Molloy-

A couple years ago in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council the U. S. Supreme Court continued its trend toward make it harder to temporarily stop government actions before irreparable harm was done. Applying this viewpoint, Montana federal district Judge Molloy let a timber sale begin and many trees were cut while conservationists were seeking an injunction on the sale so that their arguments could be heard.  This made it so if they won, they would not win because the project they sought to halt was completed.  Fortunately, in my view, the 9th Circuit overturned Molloy. This will allow  citizens to more easily get an injunction if they have strong arguments.

The precedent is not simple, but it does strengthen the hand of those opposing government projects from having their cases made moot by letting government build a powerline or whatever while the powerline, etc. is being litigated.

Appeals Court Rejects U.S. Request for Rehearing in Mont. Timber Case. By Lawrence Hurley of Greenwire. New York Times.

Ninth Circuit orders Bureau of Land Management to evaluate wilderness values on public lands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2008
CONTACT:
Brent Fenty 541-330-2638
Jon Marvel 208-788-2290

Ninth Circuit orders Bureau of Land Management to evaluate wilderness values on public lands

PORTLAND, ORE. — The Bureau of Land Management must rewrite its land use plan for southeast Oregon due to a landmark decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. The BLM wrongly refused to evaluate impacts to wilderness values on the public lands in the challenged plan, according to the decision, which overturned a district court decision upholding the plan.

The ruling will have a profound impact on BLM’s management of the public lands it is charged with protecting. The court specifically rejected BLM’s disavowal of “the very idea of wilderness” as one of many resources and values for which the agency must manage. Finding that the law, including BLM’s own guidance documents, unmistakably requires BLM to analyze impacts to a landscape’s wilderness characteristics, the court vacated the plan and ordered BLM prepare a new plan.

Read the whole Press Release

UPDATE: Read a Copy of the Decision