Siskiyou Regional Education Project v. Rose, No. Civ. 98-3069-CO.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Oregon)
Writing for the CourtHogan
Citation87 F.Supp.2d 1074
PartiesSISKIYOU REGIONAL EDUCATION PROJECT, Plaintiff, v. Nancy ROSE, District Ranger, Galice Ranger District; Michael Lunn, Supervisor, Siskiyou National Forest; United States Forest Service; Daniel Glickman, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. Civ. 98-3069-CO.
Decision Date13 December 1999
87 F.Supp.2d 1074
SISKIYOU REGIONAL EDUCATION PROJECT, Plaintiff,
v.
Nancy ROSE, District Ranger, Galice Ranger District; Michael Lunn, Supervisor, Siskiyou National Forest; United States Forest Service; Daniel Glickman, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, Defendants.
No. Civ. 98-3069-CO.
United States District Court, D. Oregon.
December 13, 1999.

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Elizabeth Mitchell, Western Environmental Law Center, Eugene, OR, for Siskiyou Regional Education Project, plaintiff.

Edward A Boling, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC, for Nancy Rose, District Ranger, Galice Ranger District, defendant.

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Edward A Boling, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC, for Michael Lunn, Supervisor, Siskiyou National Forest, defendant.

Edward A Boling, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC, for United States Forest Service, defendant.

Edward A Boling, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC, for Daniel Glickman, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, defendant.

ORDER

HOGAN, District Judge.


Magistrate Judge John P. Cooney filed Findings and Recommendation on June 24, 1999, recommending that this court grant in part and deny in part defendant's motion for summary judgment (# 22), and grant in part and deny in part plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment (# 25). The matter is now before me pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). When either party objects to any portion of a magistrate judge's Findings and Recommendation, the district court must make a de novo determination of that portion of the magistrate judge's report. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Business Machines, Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir.1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 920, 102 S.Ct. 1277, 71 L.Ed.2d 461 (1982). Defendants have timely filed objections to twenty-nine findings of the magistrate judge. I have, therefore, given de novo review of Magistrate Judge Cooney's rulings.

Based on this de novo review, I adopt Magistrate Judge Cooney's findings and recommendation in their entirety. Accordingly, defendants' motion for summary judgment (# 22) is granted in part and denied in part, and plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment (# 25) is granted in part and denied in part, as specified in Magistrate Judge Cooney's Findings and Recommendation dated June 24, 1999.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

COONEY, United States Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Siskiyou Regional Education Project brings this action alleging that defendants Nancy Rose, District Ranger of the Galice Ranger District Michael Lunn, Supervisor of the Siskiyou National Forest, the United States Forest Service (USFS), and Daniel Glickman, Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (hereinafter collectively referred to as defendants) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq., the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), 16 U.S.C. § 1604 et seq., the Forest Service Administration Act of 1897 (Organic Act), 16 U.S.C. § 473 et seq., the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., and their implementing regulations. Plaintiff alleges that defendants violated NEPA when they amended the Siskiyou National Forest Land Resource Management Plan (LRMP) based on an inadequate analysis of foreseeable and cumulative environmental impacts, and when they authorized suction dredge mining operations to proceed without analyzing the individual or cumulative impacts of the operations on sensitive fish populations, fish habitat, and water quality in Silver Creek. Plaintiff alleges that defendants violated the NFMA's Standards and Guidelines by allowing mining operations to proceed within a Supplemental Resource Area (SRA) without approved plans of operation. Plaintiff also alleges defendants violated the Forest Service's Organic Act, when they failed to minimize the adverse impacts of the suction dredge mining operations on forest resources. Plaintiff seeks an order enjoining the Forest Service from authorizing suction dredge operations in the Siskiyou National Forest, unless and until the agency complies with NEPA, NFMA, the Organic Act, and the APA. Before the court are defendants' motion for summary judgment (# 22) and plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment (# 25).

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I. FACTS1

The LRMP for the Siskiyou National Forest was issued in 1989. (AR-1 Siskiyou National Forest LRMP). Two categories of Standards and Guidelines are applied to the management of the Siskiyou National Forest: 1) forest-wide Standards and Guidelines, which apply to all Management Areas unless specifically excepted, and 2) Standards and Guidelines which are specific to particular Management Areas on the forest. (Id. at IV-20). The Siskiyou National Forest has fourteen Management Areas, "each with different management goals, resource potential and limitations." (Id. at IV-65).

One of the Management Areas included in the Siskiyou National Forest LRMP is the Supplemental Resource Area (SRA). (Id. at IV-101). SRAs are described as "areas of the Forest which are considered highly productive or critical habitats for wildlife and fish; are critical for the maintenance of watershed condition; or have special recreation values." (Siskiyou National Forest LRMP at IV-101). The management goals for the SRA are "to protect or enhance key fish and wildlife habitats; protect sensitive watershed areas; and protect recreation values." (Id.). The Siskiyou National Forest LRMP Standard and Guideline MA7-10, which applies in SRAs, provides that: "Mining activity is permitted in accordance with mining regulations and an approved operating plan." (Id. at IV-103).2

Another management area included in the Siskiyou National Forest LRMP is Wilderness Areas. (Id. at IV-69). The Siskiyou National Forest LRMP Standard and Guideline MA1-10, which applies to Wilderness Areas, permits mining only on valid claims subject to approved operating plans. (Id. at IV-73).

The Siskiyou National Forest LRMP contains a management area designated Research Natural Area (RNA). (Id. at IV-81). The Siskiyou National Forest LRMP Standard and Guideline MA3-8, which applies to RNAs, permits development of valid claims existing prior to RNA designation subject to an approved operating plan. (Id. at IV-83). Special areas, such as Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers designated "Wild", and various administrative sites are withdrawn from mineral entry under the Siskiyou National Forest LRMP. (AR at 200).

In 1994, the "Record of Decision for Amendments to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Planning Documents Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl" (Northwest Forest Plan) was adopted. (AR at 43; ROD at 1-4). The Northwest Forest Plan amended the LRMPs for national forests within the range of the Northern Spotted Owl, including the Siskiyou National Forest's LRMP. (ROD at 11-12).

The Northwest Forest Plan sets forth a four-part Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS) to maintain and restore riparian and aquatic ecosystems and protect fish habitat on federal land. (ROD at B9-12). One part of the ACS involves designation of

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Riparian Reserves, which are the areas in and along streams that provide habitat for aquatic species. Under the ACS, Riparian Reserves are used to maintain and restore riparian structures and functions in intermittent streams, confer benefits to riparian-dependent and associated species other than fish, enhance habitat conservation for organisms that are dependent on the transition zone between upslope and riparian areas, improve travel and dispersal corridors for many terrestrial animals and plants, provide greater connectivity of the watershed, and serve as connectivity corridors among the Late-Successional Reserves. (ROD at B-12-13). The Northwest Forest Plan contains Standards and Guidelines that apply to Riparian Reserves. (ROD at B12, C30-C38).

Standard and Guideline MM-1, which applies to Riparian Reserves, requires "a reclamation plan, approved Plan of Operations, and reclamation bond for all minerals operations that include Riparian Reserves." (ROD at C-34). The Northwest Forest Plan provides that "[n]one of these standards and guidelines applies where they would be contrary to existing law or regulation, or where they would require the agencies to take actions for which they do not have authority." (ROD at C-1).

At the time the Northwest Forest Plan amended the Siskiyou National Forest LRMP, the Forest Service had regulations in effect governing mining on national forest lands, 36 C.F.R. §§ 228.1-15. Under these regulations, "a person proposing an action which `might cause disturbance of the surface resources' is required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the Forest Service District Ranger on whose District the mining is proposed. The proponent is required to submit a Plan of Operations (POO) if the District Ranger determines `that such operations will likely cause significant disturbance of surface resources.'" (AR at 200 citing 36 C.F.R. § 228.4). "If a POO is submitted, the Forest Service conducts an Environmental Analysis resulting in an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Several types of activities are specifically exempted from the requirement to submit an NOI or a POO." (Id. citing 36 C.F.R. § 228.4(a)).

The Forest Service found that "[t]he requirements of MM-1 conflict with 36 CFR 228.4 in that MM-1 would require the operator to submit a POO for all operations in Riparian Reserves, regardless of whether the operation would likely cause a significant disturbance of surface resources, and regardless of whether the operation is excluded from the...

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9 practice notes
  • Karuk Tribe of Cal. v. United States Forest Serv., No. 05–16801.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • April 7, 2011
    ...of suction dredging are not relevant to our disposition and are ably described in Siskiyou Regional Education Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074, 1081–82 (D.Or.1999), and other decisions cited herein, we do not repeat them here. Suffice it to say that suction dredgers are mechanical equipme......
  • Oregon Natural Resources Council Fund v. Forsgren, No. CV 02-368-BR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Oregon)
    • March 11, 2003
    ...and, as a result, require the preparation of an EIS, see 40 C.F.R. § 1501.4(b). See also Siskiyou Reg'l Educ. Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074 Plaintiffs repeat their argument that the new mapping direction is a major federal action that significantly affects the lynx because it effective......
  • Karuk Tribe of Cal. v. U.S. Forest Service, No. C 04-4275 SBA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • July 1, 2005
    ...request that the Court ignore all of Plaintiff's references to the factual findings in Siskiyou Regional Education Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074 (D.Or.1999). Specifically, the Miners argue that the factual findings in Rose must be ignored because that case was allowed to proceed withou......
  • Siskiyou Regional Educ. v. U.S. Forest Service, No. 06-35332.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • May 7, 2009
    ...retard or prevent attainment of the Aquatic Conservation Strategy" objectives in the NFP. Siskiyou Reg'l Educ. Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074, 1081 (D.Or. 1999). However, because the Forest Service failed to comply with certain procedural requirements of the National Environmental Polic......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Karuk Tribe of Cal. v. United States Forest Serv., No. 05–16801.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • April 7, 2011
    ...of suction dredging are not relevant to our disposition and are ably described in Siskiyou Regional Education Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074, 1081–82 (D.Or.1999), and other decisions cited herein, we do not repeat them here. Suffice it to say that suction dredgers are mechanical equipme......
  • Oregon Natural Resources Council Fund v. Forsgren, No. CV 02-368-BR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Oregon)
    • March 11, 2003
    ...and, as a result, require the preparation of an EIS, see 40 C.F.R. § 1501.4(b). See also Siskiyou Reg'l Educ. Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074 Plaintiffs repeat their argument that the new mapping direction is a major federal action that significantly affects the lynx because it effective......
  • Karuk Tribe of Cal. v. U.S. Forest Service, No. C 04-4275 SBA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • July 1, 2005
    ...request that the Court ignore all of Plaintiff's references to the factual findings in Siskiyou Regional Education Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074 (D.Or.1999). Specifically, the Miners argue that the factual findings in Rose must be ignored because that case was allowed to proceed withou......
  • Siskiyou Regional Educ. v. U.S. Forest Service, No. 06-35332.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • May 7, 2009
    ...retard or prevent attainment of the Aquatic Conservation Strategy" objectives in the NFP. Siskiyou Reg'l Educ. Project v. Rose, 87 F.Supp.2d 1074, 1081 (D.Or. 1999). However, because the Forest Service failed to comply with certain procedural requirements of the National Environmental Polic......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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