Excluding the public from the public lands decision-making process is one of the most frustrating things the U.S. Forest Service does. And without public scrutiny it’s easier for the oil & gas, timber, ranching and mining industries to exploit our public lands.
But a recent WildEarth Guardians legal victory restores our right—and every citizen’s right—to protect the land, water and wildlife we care about and want to preserve.
This week, WildEarth Guardians won a decisive lawsuit defending the public’s right to participate in all land management decisions by the U.S. Forest Service. A California district court overturned a 2003 Bush-era rule, which excluded certain decisions from public notice, comment and appeals.
lawsuit arose, in part, from a permit for uranium exploration on the Cibola
National Forest that the Forest Service exempted from public challenges under
the Bush rules. WildEarth
Guardians commented on the proposal, but under the Bush rule, the Forest
Service denied us the opportunity to administratively challenge the decision.
Guardians and a handful of conservation allies who had similar experiences
across the country joined forces, and the Western Environmental Law Center
represented us in court.
court victory preserves our right—the owners of our national forest lands—to
challenge the government’s decisions—without immediately having to incur the
expense of going to federal court.
you can be certain those enriching themselves at the expense of our natural
heritage will seek other ways to limit public involvement.
Guardians will remain vigilant and continue to challenge rulings that defy America’s democratic process
affecting our wild places. We count on your vigilance and support to ensure
that collectively we can protect our public lands.