Lawsuit Filed to Force Compliance with Forest Plan Settlement Agreement
Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and Brian Brademeyer have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court for the District of Colorado asking the Court to enforce the terms of the 2000 Settlement Agreement that resolved litigation surrounding the 1997 Black Hills Revised Forest Plan. For 8 years now, the Forest Service has been implementing a Phase II Amendment that did not address the deficiencies in wildlife management that led to the 2000 litigation and ultimately the Settlement Agreement.
The Forest Service has not produced a Phase II Amendment that repairs “all inadequacies identified in the Chief’s appeal decision of October 12, 1999.” The Phase II Amendment adopted by the Forest Service on October 31, 2005, lacks a snag density standard, established post-fledging areas for northern goshawks, and clearly stated species population objectives, three “inadequacies” expressly identified by the Chief in his appeal decision of October 12, 1999.
The Forest Service and the State of South Dakota offer no arguments in their responses to support a position that the Phase II Amendment repaired these three specific “inadequacies”, other than to repeatedly assert that they produced a document entitled "Phase II Amendment" which was all they were obligated to do.
The Forest Service and State of South Dakota ignore the plain fact that the 2005 Phase II Amendment does not meet the definition included in Paragraph 9(a) of the Settlement Agreement, and thus expiration of the Settlement Agreement terms has not occurred.
The legal briefs are quite short, and can be read from the FotN website (here).