LITIGATION BETWEEN WESTERN WATERSHEDS PROJECT AND FEDERAL LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES

Author: 
Burritt, Beth
Publisher: 
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
2018
Description: 
Lawsuits initiated by environmental groups that oppose grazing on public lands can be problematic for federal agencies. Information on lawsuits between federal land management agencies (Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service) and environmental groups is usually found only in law review, court documents and popular articles. This study summarized 15 years of litigation between the environmental group, Western Watersheds Project (WWP) and federal land management agencies. The results show that the number of appeals brought by WWP against federal agencies has not increased in recent years. In general, the BLM prevailed over WWP in most disputes heard in administrative court. Most of the court cases brought by WWP in Federal District Court concerned either management of specific grazing allotments or the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In 44% of district court cases, the agency prevailed or the case was dismissed, 30% were settled, in 10% of cases the decision was mixed, and in 16% WWP prevailed. WWP collected about 5.7 million dollars in attorney�s fees and court costs. Fees were paid by the ESA�s citizen suit provision or by the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). EAJA fees are paid from the agencies� budget. Usually, permittees did not lose their grazing rights nor were their grazing rights directly affected as a result of litigation unless their livestock operation was located in Idaho.
Conference Name: 
SRM Reno, NV
Conference Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Resource Type: 
Text
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

A collection of presentation titles and abstracts from the SRM Annual Meeting and Tradeshows