District Court Finds U.S. Forest Service Failed to Adequately Address Environmental Impacts From Amendments to Tree-Removal Standards in National Forests

November 2023

Environmental, Energy, & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter, Volume 4, Number 2

In Greater Hells Canyon Council v. Wilkes the United States District Court for Oregon, Pendleton Division, held that the United States Forest Service (USFS) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it failed to, among other things, prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or adequately analyze potential environment impacts that may accompany USFS’ decision to amend tree-removal standards in six National Forests throughout the northwestern United States. Accordingly, the District Court granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, in large part, and denied in full USFS and defendant-intervenors’ motions for summary judgment.

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