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Ninth Circuit Puts Bookends on Wilderness Considerations in NEPA

December 10, 2010

The Ninth Circuit ruled on December 8, 2010, that a discussion of the BLM’s consideration of wilderness characteristics in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was sufficient under the National Environmental Policy Act.  Although the Court indicated that the BLM would have been “well-advised” to provide a more extensive discussion of its analysis, it found that the EIS was sufficient because it made clear that the BLM considered the issue.  This decision puts some book ends on the Circuit’s decision in ONDA v. BLM, 531 F.3d 1114 (9th Cir. 2008), where the Ninth Circuit held that it was arbitrary and capricious for a BLM District not to at least consider, in an EIS, whether wilderness values were present and how they should be treated within the planning area.

If you have any questions, please contact me at EHoward@dunncarney.com.

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