The March 30 court victory settting aside Bush’s new forest planning rules, which trivialized forest plans, and excluded them from full environmental analysis, has caused a temporary halt in the progress of the Shoshone National Forest Plan in Wyoming. The Shoshone is one of America’s most prized national forests for scenery and wilderness.

Planning on the adjacent Bridger-Teton National Forest continues.

The court decision, Defenders of Wildlife, et. al. v. Johanns, which came on a summary judgment, has thrown confusion into the agency, and each forest is too some degree deciding how to procede.

One particularly significant part of the opinion, the judge wrote, “Additionally, because the 2005 Rule may significantly affect the quality of the human environment under NEPA, and because it may affect listed species and their habitat under ESA, the agency must conduct further analysis and evaluation of the impact of the 2005 Rule in accordance with those statutes.” This might provide some additional protection on the Shoshone and other forests for endangered species. However, the judge did not address the content of the new rules, only the flawed procedure by which they were promulgated.

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Shoshone National Forest in the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness. Photo from Clay Butte Northward toward Montana on the skyline. Photo Copyright Ralph Maughan

Here is the story in the Casper Star Tribune, Ruling halts forest planning [on the Shoshone NF]. By Whitney Royster, Star-Tribune environmental reporter with wire reports.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Court victory over Bush forest planning rules causes halt in Shoshone National Forest plan

  1. avatar MikeH says:

    That is some spectacular country. I really enjoy the Beartooths.

  2. avatar Bob Caesar says:

    Same probably holds true for the Bridger Teton NF. We were making good progress on holding back the travel plan and the motor heads. Hope it doesn’t start again from square one…?!

  3. Good luck, Bob!

    I hope folks will help those who live in the Jackson, Kelly, Wilson, Hoback areas hold back the tidal wave of motorized contraptions and get involved in the Bridger-Teton Forest Plan.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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