Monday, July 13, 2009

Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. Kimball

Jul 10: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Case No. 07-8083. Petitioners-Appellants Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, and Wyoming Outdoor Council (collectively GYC) sent a letter to the United States Forest Service (Forest Service”) and the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requesting the agencies to undertake environmental analyses of Wyoming elk feedgrounds located on Federal land. In the letter, GYC alleged the environmental analyses were required pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Unsatisfied with the agencies’ response to its letter, GYC filed a Petition for Review of Agency Action in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. GYC alleged the Forest Service and BLM violated NEPA and various Federal permitting regulations in connection with the feedgrounds’ authorizations. In addition to seeking review of the agencies’ actions, GYC requested injunctive relief requiring the Forest Service and BLM to undertake environmental analyses of the feedgrounds. The district court denied the requested relief and entered judgment in favor of Respondents. GYC then appealed the decision and the Appeals Court vacated the portions of the district court order that have become moot and affirmed the other portions.

The Appeals Court ruled further, "GYC’s claims as to the six feedgrounds included in the July 2008 environmental analysis are moot. We therefore vacate the portions of the district court opinion addressing those feedgrounds." Additionally, ". . .we conclude BLM’s actions with regard to the four Wyoming feedgrounds in question were not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law and affirm the district court’s denial of GYC’s request to compel BLM to undertake environmental analyses of these feedgrounds."

Access the complete opinion (
click here).

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