Sierra Club v. State Board of Forestry

7 Cal. 4th 1215, 876 P.2d 505, 32 Cal. Rptr. 2d 19 (1994)

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Sierra Club v. State Board of Forestry

California Supreme Court
7 Cal. 4th 1215, 876 P.2d 505, 32 Cal. Rptr. 2d 19 (1994)

  • Written by Tanya Munson, JD

Facts

In 1988, the Pacific Lumber Company (Pacific) submitted two timber-harvesting plans to the Department of Forestry (Forestry) for the logging of “virgin old-growth redwood-type forest” in the Yager Creek drainage basin in Humboldt County. Forestry returned the plans to Pacific and, at the request of the Department of Fish and Game (Fish and Game), asked Pacific to provide additional information on species of wildlife that were dependent on old-growth habitat, which could be significantly adversely affected by the proposed harvesting. Pacific refused to provide the requested information on the ground that it was not specifically required by the Board of Forestry (the board). Forestry denied Pacific’s timber-harvesting plans because they did not include wildlife surveys or information about old-growth-dependent species and were thus incomplete. Pacific appealed Forestry’s denial to the board. The board overturned the denial of the plans, stating that the plans would not have significant adverse effects on old-growth-dependent species and that surveys would be unnecessary. Sierra Club filed a petition for a writ of mandate. The trial court denied the petition. Sierra Club appealed, and the court of appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded the matter with instructions to issue a peremptory writ of mandate directing the board to rescind its approval of both timber-harvesting plans. Pacific petitioned for review, and the petition was granted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Baxter, J.)

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