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Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
632 F.3d 1127 (2010)


In 2007, a wildfire burned 27,000 acres in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (Beaverhead). In 2009, the U.S. Forest Service (defendant) proposed a project to allow logging on 1,652 acres of the burned land. The purpose was to clear dead and dying trees and prevent the spread of dwarf mistletoe. The acting forest supervisor at Beaverhead asked the Forest Service to issue an Emergency Situation Determination (ESD), which would permit the project to commence immediately, bypassing the administrative appeals process. The chief forester issued an ESD on the grounds that delays would cost the government up to $16,000 and would increase the possibility of receiving no bids for the work, at a cost of up to $70,000 more. In addition, delays would impair the Forest Service’s ability to control dwarf mistletoe. Finally, the chief forester reasoned that the project would add 18 to 26 temporary jobs to the local economy. After the winning bid was chosen, Alliance for the Wild Rockies (AWR) (plaintiff) sued for a preliminary injunction, alleging violations of the Appeals Reform Act (ARA) and other federal statutes. The district court denied the injunction. AWR appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, J.)

Concurrence (Mosman, J.)

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