Robertson v. Methow Valley Citizens Council
United States Supreme Court
490 U.S. 332 (1989)
Method Valley Citizens Council and others (plaintiffs) challenged the Forest Service’s (defendant) issuance of a special-use permit for a ski resort on national forest land. Before issuing the permit, the Forest Service commissioned an environmental impact statement (EIS) to consider the effects of the resort on wildlife and outlined possible mitigation measures. The court of appeals found the EIS inadequate for two reasons: (1) the Forest Service used a 15 percent estimate for mule deer herd loss even though the State Department of Game had predicted 50 percent; and (2) the EIS did not contain a complete mitigation plan to protect wildlife. The Forest Service argued that it could not come up with a complete plan at this time because mitigation would require the involvement of state and local government, and state and local governments could not be expected to participate in formulating a plan before a permit had been issued.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)