1 Feb 2011, 12:56pm
Latest Forest News
by admin

Lawsuit against U.S. Forest Service Norbeck project dismissed

By Kevin Woster, Rapid City Journal, January 31, 2011 [here]

A federal judge in Rapid City has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two environmental groups against the U.S. Forest Service to stop a management project in the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve.

But a spokesman for one of the groups said an appeal is likely.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken filed an order Friday dismissing the lawsuit filed by Friends of the Norbeck and Native Ecosystem Council. Viken ruled the environmentalists had failed to show that the Forest Service acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner and violated federal law when it approved the project, which includes tree thinning and prescribed burns.

Viken had previously rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have stopped an initial stage of tree-thinning work on the project from starting. He allowed the first phase of work in the Sunday Gulch area to start, pending his decision on the overall merits of the case, which came Friday.

With that decision in, Black Hills National Forest supervisor Craig Bobzien said the project is ready to proceed beyond the work in Sunday Gulch.

“We are pleased with the judge’s dismissal of this case on its merits,” Bobzien said. “The Forest Service implemented the Sunday Gulch project immediately after Judge Viken denied the preliminary injunction, and we will now proceed with other important projects in the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve.” …

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Monday that Viken’s decision will allow work to proceed for a “healthier forest in the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve for everyone to enjoy.” … [more]

Thanks for the news tip to Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research [here, here]



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