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United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
July 7, 2014, Argued and Submitted, Portland, Oregon; June 17, 2015, Filed
Nos. 13-35624, 13-35631
[*1077] PAEZ, Circuit Judge:
In 2000, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service ("FWS") listed the Canada lynx, a snow-sturdy cousin to [**5] the bobcat, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 ("ESA"), 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq. FWS designated critical habitat for the Canada lynx in 2006, but did not include any National Forest System land. Subsequently, the United States Forest Service ("Forest Service") issued standards and guidelines for land management activities on National Forest land that responded to FWS's listing and designation decisions. The Forest Service then initiated consultation with FWS under Section 7 of the ESA, 16 U.S.C. § 1536(a)(2). FWS determined that the Forest Service's standards and guidelines did not jeopardize the Canada lynx. Shortly after completing the consultation process, FWS discovered that its decisions relating to the designation of critical habitat for the Canada lynx were flawed. After re-evaluating the data, FWS designated extensive National Forest land as critical habitat.
In this case, we must decide whether the district court properly determined that the Forest Service violated the ESA when it decided not to reinitiate consultation after the FWS revised its critical habitat designation to include National Forest land. Before doing so, however, we address the Forest Service's arguments that Cottonwood lacks standing [**6] to bring its claim and that the claim is not ripe for review. Because we conclude that Cottonwood's claim is justiciable, and that the Forest Service violated the ESA, we proceed to consider whether the district court erred in denying injunctive relief to Cottonwood. Although we affirm the district court's ruling, we remand for further proceedings to allow Cottonwood an opportunity to make the necessary showing in support of injunctive relief.
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789 F.3d 1075 *; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10176 **; 45 ELR 20114; 80 ERC (BNA) 2130
COTTONWOOD ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER, Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE; FAYE KRUEGER, in her official capacity as Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service, Region One, Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees.
Subsequent History: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by United States Forest Serv. v. Cottonwood Envtl. Law Ctr., 2016 U.S. LEXIS 6257 (U.S., Oct. 11, 2016)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Montana. D.C. No. 9:12-cv-00045-DLC. Dana L. Christensen, Chief District Judge, Presiding.
Salix v. United States Forest Serv., 944 F. Supp. 2d 984, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69947 (D. Mont., 2013)
Disposition: AFFIRMED AND REMANDED.
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Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Motions for Summary Judgment, Cross Motions, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Justiciability, Ripeness, General Overview, Standing, Abuse of Discretion, Remedies, Injunctions, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Elements, Particular Parties, Environmental Law, Endangered Species Act, Enforcement, Citizen Suits, Tests for Ripeness, The Judiciary, Ripeness, Imminence, Natural Resources & Public Lands, Federal Agencies, Forest Management, Permanent Injunctions, National Environmental Policy Act, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Preliminary Considerations, Equity, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Grounds for Injunctions, Irreparable Harm, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Inferences & Presumptions, Presumptions, Particular Presumptions