Wyoming v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, No. 07-CV-17-B.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtClarence A. Brimmer
Citation570 F.Supp.2d 1309
Docket NumberNo. 07-CV-17-B.
Decision Date12 August 2008
PartiesState of WYOMING, Plaintiff, and the Colorado Mining Association, Plaintiff-Intervenor v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, et al., Defendants, and the Wyoming Outdoor Council, et al., Defendant-Intervenors.
570 F.Supp.2d 1309
State of WYOMING, Plaintiff, and
the Colorado Mining Association, Plaintiff-Intervenor
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, et al., Defendants, and
the Wyoming Outdoor Council, et al., Defendant-Intervenors.
No. 07-CV-17-B.
United States District Court, D. Wyoming.
August 12, 2008.

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Jay A. Jerde, Wyoming Attorney General, Patrick J. Crank, Speight McCue & Crank, Cheyenne, WY, for Plaintiff.

Barclay T. Samford, Department of Justice, Denver, CO, for Defendants.

Andrew E. Hartsig, James S. Angell, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, Denver,

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CO, Douglas L. Honnold, Timothy J. Preso, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, Bozeman, MT, for Defendant-Intervenors.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

CLARENCE A. BRIMMER, District Judge.


Today, this Court, for the second time, has before it the State of Wyoming's ("Wyoming's") challenge to the adoption of the Roadless Area Conservation Final Rule (the "2001 Roadless Rule"), 66 Fed.Reg. 3244-3272 (Jan. 12, 2001), promulgated by the United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") and the United States Forest Service (jointly referred to as the "Forest Service"). The 2001 Roadless Rule applies nationwide and prohibits road construction, road reconstruction, and timber harvesting in inventoried roadless areas. Specifically, the Court is tasked with determining whether the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321 (1969), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), 16 U.S.C. § 1600-1614 (1976), the Wilderness Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1131-1136 (1964), the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984(WWA), Pub.L. 98-550 (October 30, 1984), the Multiple-Use and Sustained Yield Act (MUSYA), 16 U.S.C. § 528-531 (1960), and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 701-706 (1966), in promulgating and adopting the 2001 Roadless Rule. Wyoming asks this Court for declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and a review of the agency action.

In evaluating Wyoming's complaint, the Court is not traversing unfamiliar ground. On May 18, 2001, Wyoming filed a complaint, in this Court, challenging the 2001 Roadless Rule as violating various federal statutes including NEPA, the Wilderness Act, the WWA, the NFMA, and the MUSYA. On July 14, 2003, this Court ruled that the 2001 Roadless Rule was promulgated in violation of NEPA and the Wilderness Act and that it must be set aside pursuant to the APA. Wyoming v. United States Dep't of Agric., 277 F.Supp.2d 1197, 1239 (D.Wyo.2003)(cited as "Roadless I"). The Court also ordered the 2001 Roadless Rule to be permanently enjoined. Id.

On July 16, 2003, the Intervenors appealed this Court's decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, the Federal Defendants did not participate in the appeal. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit did not render an opinion as to this Court's decision on the merits, as it held Roadless I moot because the Forest Service had adopted the State Petitions Rule which superceded the 2001 Roadless Rule. Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 414 F.3d 1207, 1213 (10th Cir.2005)("Roadless II").

After the Forest Service adopted the State Petitions Rule, several states and environmental groups challenged its propriety in the Northern District Court of California. In October 2006, that court held that the State Petitions Rule was promulgated in violation of NEPA and the ESA. California ex rel. Lockyer v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 459 F.Supp.2d 874, 919 (N.D.Cal.2006). The Northern California District Court, by way of a Magistrate Judge, surreptitiously re-instituted the 2001 Roadless Rule, even though this Court had previously ruled that it was promulgated in violation of NEPA and the Wilderness Act.

On January 12, 2007, Wyoming renewed its challenge to the 2001 Roadless Rule, bringing this issue once again before the Court.1 After considering the administrative

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record, reading the briefs of the parties, hearing counsels' oral arguments, and being fully advised in the premises, the Court FINDS and ORDERS as follows:2

STATEMENT OF THE PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

Plaintiff, the State of Wyoming, is a sovereign state of the United States and has brought this suit in its own right and on behalf of its own citizens.

Defendant, United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") is a department of the executive branch of the United States government. The USDA is responsible for overseeing the activities of the Forest Service. The Forest Service is an agency of the USDA and is charged with the administration of the National Forests, including the National Forests within Wyoming's borders. Defendant, Mike Johanns, is the former Secretary of Agriculture and has been sued in his official capacity for the actions of his predecessor, former Secretary of Agriculture Daniel R. Glickman. Defendant, Dale N. Bosworth, is the former Chief of the Forest Service and has been sued in his official capacity for the actions of his predecessor, former Chief Michael Dombeck. Collectively, these Defendants will be referred to as the "Federal Defendants."

The Plaintiff-Intervenor is the Colorado Mining Association ("CMA"). CMA is an association of 650 members, that engage in the production of coal, metals, and agricultural and industrial minerals throughout Colorado and the West. CMA promotes and engages in the responsible extraction of coal and mineral resources from National

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Forest Service lands to supply electricity and other fundamental needs to our country.

The Defendant-Intervenors are environmental organizations that have advocated for the protection of roadless areas. Parties that have intervened in this action are the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, Natural Resource Defense Council, Pacific Rivers Counsel, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, and the Wyoming Outdoor Council (collectively "Defendant-Intervenors"). The Defendant-Intervenors were active participants in the rulemaking process leading to the promulgation of the 2001 Roadless Rule.

The Court exercises federal question jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706. Venue is proper. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b),(e).

BACKGROUND

I. Introduction

In 1897, Congress enacted the Forest Service Organic Act ("Organic Act"). See Act of June 4, 1897, ch. 2, § 1, 30 Stat. 11, 34-36 (codified as amended at 16 U.S.C. §§ 473-482, 551). The Organic Act, for the first time, established a limited multiple-use mandate for management of the National Forests. See 16 U.S.C. § 475. That multiple-use mandate provides that National Forests may be established and administered to improve and protect the forest within its boundaries and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of the American people. Id.

In 1905, after the Forest Service was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, it began actively managing the National Forest System.3 In 1960, Congress codified the multiple-use mandate when it enacted the Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Act ("MUSYA"). See 16 U.S.C. §§ 528-531. Currently, the Forest Service manages 191.8 million acres of forest, grass, and shrub lands, which comprises about one-twelfth of the land and waters in the United States. See John Fedkiw, Managing Multiple Uses on National Forests 1905-1995, at 1-4 (1998).4

In 1924, Congress designated a portion of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico as a wilderness preserve, which was the first "roadless area" in the National Forest System. See H. Michael Anderson & Aliki Moncrief, America's Unprotected Wilderness, 76 Denv. U.L.Rev. 413, 434 (1999). Thereafter, the Forest Service established regulations for managing "primitive" roadless areas. See id. In 1964, Congress enacted the Wilderness Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1131-36, which established a procedure by which Congress could designate roadless "wilderness" areas in the National Forest System. 16 U.S.C. § 1131(a).

In 1967, the Forest Service embarked on the Roadless Area Review Evaluation ("RARE I"), which was a nationwide inventory of the National Forest System to identify areas that could be designated as "wilderness" pursuant to the Wilderness Act. See Fedkiw, Managing Multiple Uses on National Forests 1905-1995, at 113-14. The RARE I inventory ended in 1972, with the Forest Service finding that approximately 56 million acres in the National Forests were suitable for wilderness designation. Id. However, RARE I was abandoned after a successful National Environmental

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Policy Act ("NEPA") challenge to the procedure employed by the Forest Service during the evaluation. Id. at 114; see also Wyoming Outdoor Coordinating Council v. Butz, 484 F.2d 1244 (10th Cir. 1973), Sierra Club v. Butz, 349 F.Supp. 934 (N.D.Cal.1972).

In 1977, the Forest Service began a new Roadless Area Review Evaluation ("RARE II"). Fedkiw, Managing Multiple Uses on National Forests 1905-1995, at 115-19. RARE II, like its predecessor, was administratively initiated for the purpose of identifying those roadless and undeveloped areas which could be designated as "wilderness areas" pursuant to the Wilderness Act. Mountain States Legal Foundation v. Andrus, 499 F.Supp. 383, 387 (D.Wyo. 1980). The RARE II inventory culminated in 1979 with the Forest Service identifying approximately 62 million National Forest acres as potential wilderness. Fedkiw, Managing Multiple Uses on National Forests 1905-1995, at 117.

The purpose behind the RARE I and RARE II inventories was to gather information upon which the President could rely in making wilderness area recommendations to Congress pursuant to the Wilderness Act. See 16 U.S.C. § 1132 (requiring the Secretary...

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13 practice notes
  • Alaska v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., Civil Case No. 11–1122 (RJL)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 20, 2017
    ...enjoined the Roadless Rule, finding that it violated NEPA, the Wilderness Act, and the APA. Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric. , 570 F.Supp.2d 1309, 1355 (D. Wyo. 2008). In 2011, the Tenth Circuit once again reversed that judgment. Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric. , 661 F.3d 1209, 1272 (10th Ci......
  • Organized Vill. of Kake v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., No. 11–35517.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 29, 2015
    ...575 F.3d at 1021. In 2008, a Wyoming district court again permanently enjoined the Roadless Rule. Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 570 F.Supp.2d 1309, 1355 (D.Wyo.2008), rev'd, Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 661 F.3d 1209, 1272 (10th Cir.2011). In 2011, the Tenth Circuit once again revers......
  • State v. United States Dep't of Agriculture, Nos. 08–8061
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • October 21, 2011
    ...§§ 1131– 36, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321– 70. See Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 570 F.Supp.2d 1309 (D.Wyo.2008).3 On appeal, the Forest Service and the Environmental Groups ask us to hold that the Roadless Rule was not promulgated in viol......
  • Hogback Basin Preservation v. U.S. Forest Service, No. C07-1913JLR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Washington)
    • September 10, 2008
    ...Roadless Rule, finding that it violates the Wilderness Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1131-36 (1964), and NEPA. See Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 570 F.Supp.2d 1309, 1352, 1355, 2008 WL 3397503, at *34, *37 (D.Wyo. Aug.12, 2008) (also noting that the Lockyer court's decision to set aside the State Pe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • Alaska v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., Civil Case No. 11–1122 (RJL)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 20, 2017
    ...enjoined the Roadless Rule, finding that it violated NEPA, the Wilderness Act, and the APA. Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric. , 570 F.Supp.2d 1309, 1355 (D. Wyo. 2008). In 2011, the Tenth Circuit once again reversed that judgment. Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric. , 661 F.3d 1209, 1272 (10th Ci......
  • Organized Vill. of Kake v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., No. 11–35517.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 29, 2015
    ...575 F.3d at 1021. In 2008, a Wyoming district court again permanently enjoined the Roadless Rule. Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 570 F.Supp.2d 1309, 1355 (D.Wyo.2008), rev'd, Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 661 F.3d 1209, 1272 (10th Cir.2011). In 2011, the Tenth Circuit once again revers......
  • State v. United States Dep't of Agriculture, Nos. 08–8061
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • October 21, 2011
    ...§§ 1131– 36, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321– 70. See Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 570 F.Supp.2d 1309 (D.Wyo.2008).3 On appeal, the Forest Service and the Environmental Groups ask us to hold that the Roadless Rule was not promulgated in viol......
  • Hogback Basin Preservation v. U.S. Forest Service, No. C07-1913JLR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Washington)
    • September 10, 2008
    ...Roadless Rule, finding that it violates the Wilderness Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1131-36 (1964), and NEPA. See Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 570 F.Supp.2d 1309, 1352, 1355, 2008 WL 3397503, at *34, *37 (D.Wyo. Aug.12, 2008) (also noting that the Lockyer court's decision to set aside the State Pe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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