California Court of Appeal

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Center for Biological Diversity v. Cal. Dept. of Forestry, A138914

In this case in which defendant California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) approved a “Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan” (NTMP) authorizing logging on 615 privately held acres of north coast redwood and Douglas fir forest, plaintiffs initiated administrative mandamus proceedings seeking to set aside CAL FIRE’s approval of the NTMP and sought a writ of mandate and declaratory relief against the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) for allegedly failing to fulfill its public trust and statutory obligations by failing to object to the NTMP. The trial court’s denial of relief is affirmed, where: 1) the NTMP is sufficient as an informational document and adequately assessed the cumulative impacts of logging; 2) CAL FIRE’s conclusions are supported by substantial evidence; and 3) DFW’s decision not to actively oppose action for which another agency is ultimately responsible is an exercise of agency judgment and discretion, and is anything but “ministerial,” “clear” or “mandatory.”

Appellate Information

  • Decided 12/30/2014
  • Published 12/30/2014

Judges

  • Bruiniers

Court

  • California Court of Appeal

Counsel