Stevens County v. United States Department of Interior

507 F. Supp. 2d 1127 (2007)

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Stevens County v. United States Department of Interior

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
507 F. Supp. 2d 1127 (2007)

Facts

The Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge (the LPO) is a 40,000-acre area of federal land designated for the use of the Department of Agriculture as a refuge for wildlife. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) ran by the Department of Interior (defendants) administers the management of grazing practices on the LPO. In 2000, the FWS, after conducting refuge-impact reports, announced its intent to eliminate the annual-grazing program in five years and shift to using grazing only as a habitat-management tool to achieve wildlife objectives. Various associations and individual ranchers in Stevens County (plaintiffs) who benefited from cattle grazing on the LPO filed suit seeking to overturn the decisions. The Stevens County ranchers argued that the FWS decision violated the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act (the Improvement Act) in determining that livestock grazing was largely incompatible with the refuge purposes of the LPO. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Shea, J.)

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