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Cabinet Mountains Wilderness v. Peterson

685 F.2d 678 (1982)

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Cabinet Mountains Wilderness v. Peterson

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

685 F.2d 678 (1982)

Facts

ASARCO, a drilling company, sought to drill oil in lands near grizzly bear habitat. ASARCO submitted a proposal to the Forest Service (defendant), which then prepared an environmental assessment (EA). The EA showed a serious threat to secure habitat from increased human-bear interactions, especially in denning and feeding sites. The EA provided 14 recommendations to mitigate these potential adverse effects, including restrictions of activities in certain areas; restrictions of activities to certain months and times of day; restrictions on the use of helicopters; and prohibitions on firearms, overnight camping, and littering. The United States Forest Service consulted with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which prepared a biological opinion agreeing that loss of secure habitat was a serious concern. FWS advised that the restrictions recommended by the Forest Service should be strictly observed and recommended additional restrictions, including a shortened period of operations, closures of certain roads, and rescheduling or canceling certain timber sales. FWS opined that these measures would fully compensate for the cumulative adverse effects of the project. The Forest Service’s final EA adopted all recommendations from the FWS’s opinion and determined that an environmental-impact statement (EIS) was unnecessary. Cabinet Mountains Wilderness (plaintiff) argued that an EIS was required. [Ed’s note: The procedural history is not included in the casebook excerpt.]

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Robb, J.)

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