WildEarth Guardians

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Protecting wildlife and wild places on Flathead National Forest

WildEarth Guardians v. Weber
Pending, Briefing in progress
Case No.
9:19-cv-00056 (consolidated with companion case 9:19-cv-00060)
Date Filed
April 3, 2019
State, Venue
Montana, Montana Federal District Court, Missoula Division
Kelly Nokes (WELC), Susan Jane Brown (WELC), John Mellgren (WELC), Marla Fox

The Flathead National Forest in northwestern Montana is a crown jewel of America’s public lands. Bordering Glacier National Park and Canada, the forest contains some of the most intact wildlands and free-flowing rivers on the entire continent. It’s a refuge for many imperiled species, including grizzly bears, Canada lynx, gray wolves, wolverine, and bull trout. But the U.S. Forest Service’s 2018 revised Forest Plan, which will guide all future forest activities for the next 15 years or more, is prioritizing activities that destroy habitats and disturb wildlife—including logging, road building, and grazing.

In this lawsuit WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project challenge the Forest Service’s revised Forest Plan for the Flathead for failing to take a hard look at the impacts of the plan on wildlife and wild places. We also challenge the Forest Service’s decision to adopt a decade-old winter travel plan without considering new winter travel planning requirements and changes in the status of imperiled species and habitat since it was first adopted. And we challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s finding that the Forest Plan isn’t dangerous to the Flathead’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.