Tuesday, August 3, 2010

McKeen v. US Forest Service

Aug 2: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Case No. 08-2290. The Appeals Court explains that for more than forty years, the United States Forest Service (hereinafter Forest Service) has granted Plaintiff Hugh B. McKeen and his family a series of term livestock grazing permits to graze cattle and/or horses on the Cedar Breaks Allotment in the Glenwood Ranger District of the Gila National Forest in Catron County, New Mexico. Recently, McKeen sought to have several Forest Service actions which affected these permits set aside pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The district court denied each of McKeen's requests for relief and McKeen filed a timely appeal. The Appeals Court affirmed in part and vacated in part. With respect to the claims which were vacated, the Appeals Court remanded them to the district court with instructions to dismiss them as moot.
    The Appeals Court concludes in part that, ". . .rather than identify any discrete action of the Forest Service which he challenges, McKeen continues to make broad, conclusory statements regarding the implementation of the Decision Notice. Even after a careful reading of McKeen's briefing and the record, it is simply impossible to determine precisely what Forest Service actions he believes have aggrieved him in this regard, and forest 'monitoring and management practices are reviewable [only] when, and to the extent that, they affect the lawfulness of a particular final agency action.' [citing] See Neighbors of Cuddy Mountain v. Alexander, 303 F.3d 1059, 1067 (9th Cir.2002)."
    Access the complete opinion (click here).

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