The Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society (plaintiffs) sought an injunction in district court to prevent the United States Forest Service (USFS) (defendant) from engaging the practice of even-aged logging in national forests in Texas. Even-aged logging involved clearcutting, or the cutting of all trees within an area, instead of selective cutting. The plaintiffs claimed that even-aged logging violated the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1600-14, and the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321-47. The plaintiffs also challenged the USFS’s environmental assessments (EAs), which used even-aged management for timber sales. Each EA considered the project alternatives of no action, even-aged management, and uneven-aged or selection management. The EAs also took old-growth ecosystems into consideration. Although even-aged management was the preferred collective alternative for the timber sales, each timber sale varied regarding the extent of its use of even-aged management. The district court granted a preliminary injunction against the USFS, finding that the NFMA required even-aged management to be used only in exceptional circumstances. The district court reasoned that holding otherwise would violate § 1604(g)(3)(F)(v) of the NFMA, which required the USFS to use even-aged management in a manner consistent with timber regeneration and the protection of soil, watershed, fish, wildlife, recreation, and aesthetic resources. The USFS appealed.