The long running legal case involving a short section of road in northern Nevada is coming to an end - and the road will remain open. This case has covered a range of legal issues including RS-2477, water rights, wilderness, and endangered species. In the end, the local county has prevailed and the road will be re-constructed.
This case arose out of the long and contentious process to repair a flood-damaged road in a sensitive area of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Great Old Broads appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Forest Service on Great Old Broads' claims related to the Forest Service's record of decision (ROD) determining the method of restoring the South Canyon Road as part of the Jarbridge Canyon Project. The court held that Great Old Broads exhausted its claims before the Forest Service but that the ROD conformed to the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), 16 U.S.C. 1600-1687, Executive Order 11988, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f. The court reversed the district court on its analysis of exhaustion, but affirmed the district court on its alternative decision on the merits as to each of the claims presented.Court Description:Environmental Law. The panel reversed in part and affirmed in part the district court’s judgment in favor of the United States Forest Service in an action challenging the Forest Service’s approval of the restoration of a flood-damaged road in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada. The panel reversed the district court’s holding on exhaustion, and held that each of the claims presented on appeal were adequately exhausted by plaintiff’s submissions to the Forest Service. The panel affirmed the district court’s alternative holding on the merits, granting summary judgment in favor of the Forest Service. The panel held that the Forest Service’s Record of Decision conformed to the National Forest Management Act, Executive Order 11988, and the National Environmental Policy Act.
A copy of the court decision is attached: