Little River Alliance and EPIC v. CDF

Little River Alliance and EPIC v. CDF


EPIC and the Little River Alliance challenged six THPs filed in one of California’s most depleted watersheds near Trinidad, arguing that the California Department of Forestry approved the THPs without assessing the cumulative impacts of such logging to Bald Eagles and other forest resources. The proposed logging plans (five by Louisiana-Pacific and one by Simpson Timber) were located in a watershed in which a total of 442 logging plans had been approved during the previous six years, which together involved the clearcutting of 26 percent of the watershed. The suit was filed against CalFIRE, Ray Utterback, Lloyd Keefer, Richard Wilson, the State Board of Forestry, the Secretary of the California Resources Agency, the State of California, the Louisiana Pacific Corporation, Simpson Redwood Company, and Simpson Timber Company.

Procedure: Six THPs (1-91-341 HUM, 1-91-361 HUM, 1-91-369 HUM, 1-91-374 HUM, 1-92-010 HUM, 1-92-012 HUM) approved April and May of 1992. EPIC files Petition for Writ of Mandate 5/6/92 (Humboldt Ct. #92CPO326). Judge Buffington delayed issuing a TRO while logging commenced. Trial court then denied TRO on grounds that court wanted to review the administrative record. Appellate court issued stay May 1992 and chastised trial court’s rationale (#A057592).

Status: final – No abuse of discretion by California Department of Forestry; Adequacy of mitigations, alternatives, and cumulative impact analysis to be judged by forestry rules only, not CEQA. Appellate court affirmed trial court decision. (Note: this decision was issued prior to the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Sierra Club and EPIC v. Board of Forestry, which held that THPs are CEQA subject to CEQA).

Attorneys: Bill Verick, Sharon Duggan.

EPIC Contact: Dan Zimmerman.