Sierra Club v. Glickman

974 F. Supp. 905 (1997)

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Sierra Club v. Glickman

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
974 F. Supp. 905 (1997)

  • Written by Robert Cane, JD

Facts

The United States Forest Service (forest service) (defendant) managed national forests pursuant to the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (forest-management act). The forest-management act and corresponding regulations required that the forest service ensure that management of national-forest lands did not produce substantial and permanent impairment of land productivity. Further, the regulations under the forest-management act required the conservation of soil and water resources. However, the forest service primarily used even-aged management practices. Such management practices caused severe erosion of soil and the loss of organic matter in national forests. The soil loss impaired the productivity of the national-forest land. The evidence at trial was unclear as to exactly which even-aged management practices were the cause of the severe soil erosion. Ultimately, the forest service’s even-aged management practices resulted in harm to the soil. Further, excessive run-off from timber harvesting caused erosion of streams on national-forest land. The erosion of soil from timber harvesting filled streams and was detrimental to the quality of the filled-in streams. The erosion and filling in of streams adversely affected the water-flow rates in forest areas, contributed to flooding, and hindered plant and animal life. The Sierra Club (plaintiff) sued the forest service, alleging that its management plans implementing even-aged management practices violated the forest-management act. The Sierra Club claimed that the forest service’s planning documents on their face violated the forest-management act as evidenced by the on-the-ground effects resulting from the even-aged management practices provided for in the management plans. The Sierra Club sought an injunction to enjoin the use of even-aged management techniques. A bench trial was held.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Schell, C.J.)

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