The U.S. Forest Service (Service) (defendant) approved two projects in the Allegheny National Forest to allow private companies to harvest trees. Six Pennsylvania and Ohio residents and an Indiana environmental organization (plaintiffs) sued to enjoin the logging and for a declaration that the projects violated federal statutes. A number of third parties sought to intervene: the Ridgway, Bradford, Kane, Johnsonburg, and Smethport school districts; the townships of Cherry Grove, Hamilton, Hamlin, Highland, Wetmore, and Jones; timber companies Payne Forest Products, Inc. (Payne), Spilka Wood Products Co. (Spilka), Ridgway Lumber Co. (Ridgway Lumber), Brookville Wood Products, Inc. (Brookville), and Northeast Hardwoods (Northeast); and Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group, Inc. (AHUG), a nonprofit whose members were logging concerns. By statute, the school districts and townships were entitled to a share of revenues from logging in the forest. Payne and Spilka had been awarded contracts for one of the projects. Ridgway Lumber was the winning bidder for the other; its contract was on hold for the lawsuit. Brookville and Northeast did not have current contracts with the Service, but most of their income derived from such contracts. Members of AHUG had current contracts with the Service and were expected to bid on future projects. The district court denied intervention to all movants except Payne and Spilka. The other movants appealed.