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Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics v. U.S. Forest Service

United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
689 F.Supp.2d 891 (2010)


The Stewardship Act (Act) allowed the United States Forest Service (USFS) (defendant) to enter into projects with individuals and entities to achieve land-management goals for national forests and public lands. In 2007, the USFS authorized the Continued Maintenance of Open Lands project within a national recreation area. Under the Act’s authority, the USFS entered into a stewardship agreement (agreement) with the National Wild Turkey Federation (Federation), a private non-profit group. The agreement authorized the Federation to issue permits to farmers to grow crops and cut hay in the recreation area. However, under the Organic Administration Act (OAA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 475 et seq., the USFS had implemented regulations requiring USFS officers to issue special-use permits for activities on national forest lands, including farming. The Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (plaintiff) filed suit against the USFS, seeking to enjoin the project’s implementation and to void the agreement for violating the OAA and the implementing regulations. Both parties moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Russell, C.J.)

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