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Protecting America's National Forests, a report by the Heritage Forests Campaign

Excerpts from the 9th Circuit Ruling

On the issue of public comment and input:

“Upon our review of the record, we are persuaded that the Forest Service did provide the public with extensive, relevant information on the Roadless Rule. We also conclude that the Forest Service allowed adequate time for meaningful public debate and comment.” (p. 29)

On the issue of undermining the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the likelihood of plaintiffs’ success:

“[We] hold that the process abided the general statutory requirements of NEPA and based on the preliminary evidence it cannot be said that plaintiffs have a strong likelihood of success on the merits.” (p. 46)

On the issue of sufficient alternatives:

“We think that defendant-intervenors are correct in arguing that any inclusion of alternatives that allowed road construction outside of the few exceptions allowed in the Roadless Rule would be inconsistent with the Forest Service’s policy objective in promulgating the Rule.” (p. 36-37)

On the issue of irreparable harm and the balance of harms to both sides:

[T]he Forest Service’s decision not to enforce the Roadless Rule until it has been amended after another full-scale notice and comment period make plaintiffs’ allegations of irreparable harm even more weak and questionable.” (p. 46)

“The district court in our view failed adequately to weigh the public interest in preserving our national forests in their natural state.” (p. 45)

Click here to read the entire opinion.

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