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Northwest Forest Resource Council v. Espy

United States District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit
846 F. Supp. 1009 (1994)


Facts

After a meeting with various government officials regarding the long-standing dispute between environmentalists and the forest products industry over the use of federal forest land, the President established an interagency group called the Forest Conference Executive Committee (Executive Committee). The Executive Committee was created to direct and supervise the work of the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team (FEMAT). It instructed the team to identify management alternatives to attain the greatest economic and social contributions from certain forests. The Executive Branch considered only FEMAT’s work when selecting a forest policy, and ultimately chose to implement one of FEMAT’s policy proposals. FEMAT was composed of six subteams and fourteen advisory subgroups. Five of the people who contributed to FEMAT’s work were state university professors, not regular federal employees. Representing the interests of forest product industries in Oregon and Washington, the Northwest Forest Resource Council (plaintiff) sued the United States Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior, a group of individuals, FEMAT, and FEMAT’s chairman (defendants), arguing that FEMAT was an advisory committee and its use violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Jackson, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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