United States Ninth Circuit

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Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Indian Affairs, 14-35553

In an environmental challenge to defendant's approval of the Middle Forks Kokwel timber sale, a plan by the Coquille Indian Tribe to harves 268 acres of timber in the Coquille Forest in southwest Oregon, alleging the BIA violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. section 4321 et seq., because it did not adequately consider the cumulative environmental impact of the Kokwel Project in light of a previously approved harvest, the Alder/Rasler Project, on adjacent and overlapping land, and because the project is inconsistent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Recovery Plan for the northern spotted owl, the district court's grant of summary judgment to the BIA and the Tribe is affirmed where: 1) the BIA and Tribe did not violate NEPA by aggregating the Alder/Rasler Project, which had been approved, but not yet completed, as part of the environmental baseline against which the incremental impact of the Kokwel Project was considered; and 2) the Coquille Restoration Act, 25 U.S.C. section 715 et seq., does not require compliance with the Recovery Plan for the northern spotted owl.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 09/14/2015
  • Published 09/14/2015

Judges

  • FISHER

Court

  • United States Ninth Circuit

Counsel