1 Feb 2011, 1:06pm
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9th Circuit Supports Five Buttes Thinning

by Scott Horngren, American Forest Resource Council News, January 28, 2011 [here]

On January 19, the Ninth Circuit denied the League of Wilderness Defenders’ (LOWD) petition for a rehearing en banc, which would have allowed an 11 judge panel to possibly reverse the three judge panel’s favorable decision last August upholding the Five Buttes restoration project on the Deschutes National Forest. The August decision deferred to the Forest Service’s interpretation of the Northwest Forest Plan that timber harvest could occur in eastside late successional reserves to reduce fire risk and provide long term benefit to spotted owls.

The basis for LOWD’s petition for rehearing was that the three judge panel gave too much deference to the Forest Service’s interpretation of Northwest Forest Plan and that the Ninth Circuit needed to clarify that the Mission Brush en banc decision does not mean that the courts must give unlimited deference to Forest Service decisions. LOWD’s petition was rejected in a one line order.



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