Newton County Wildlife Association v. United States Forest Service
113 F.3d 110 (8th Cir. 1997)
- Using the Wild and Scenic
Rivers Act (WRSA) (16 U.S.C. §§1271-1287), Congress designated six rivers within the
Ozark National Forest for special protection.
- The US Forest Service was
given three years to develop comprehensive management plans for the
rivers, per §1274(d)(1).
- Before the three years were
up, and before the Forest Service released their management plans, they held
some timber sales.
- Winning bidders would be
allowed to conduct logging activities in the National Forest, potentially
endangering the rivers.
- NCWA sued for an injunction.
- NCWA argued that the Forest
Service was in violation of the WRSA
because they needed to finish the management plans before taking actions
that had the potential to harm the rivers.
- The Trial Court denied the
injunction. NCWA appealed.
- The Appellate Court affirmed.
- The Appellate Court found
that §1274(d)(1) did not mandate
completion of management plans before approving timber sales.
- The Court found that the
Forest Service has substantial discretion in deciding how to meet its
obligations under WSRA.
- The Court found that since
the timber sales were outside of the boundaries of the six scenic rivers,
the WRSA could not be used to
enjoin the activities.
- Despite the fact the
activities outside of the boundaries could have harmful effects inside