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Conservation Northwest v. Sherman

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
715 F.3d 1181 (2013)


Facts

The Northwest Forest Plan (NFP) required an ecosystem-management approach for federal forests within the range of the northern spotted owl. The NFP’s Survey and Manage Standard (standard) required agencies to conduct surveys of species located within federal forests. Conservation Northwest and a coalition of environmental groups (plaintiffs) sued the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service (agencies) (defendants), objecting to changes to the standard. The district court approved and entered a settlement between the plaintiffs and the agencies in the form of a consent decree, which effectively amended the standard by changing species classifications and establishing exemptions from pre-disturbance surveys. A defendant-intervenor appealed the approval of the consent decree to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tashima, J.)

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