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Protecting the environment by providing legal services for forest cases of statewide significance

Protecting the environment by providing legal services for forest cases of statewide significance.

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Seattle Audubon v. DNR

King County Superior Court No. 12-2-19053-4SEA

On July 11, 2013, King County Superior Court Judge Bruce E. Heller ruled that DNR violated the State Environmental Policy Act by allowing logging of over 12,000 acres of mature forest in Southwest Washington. Violation of the State Environmental Policy Act, State Trust Lands, Marbled Murrelet

NEDC v. Brown

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 07-35266; U.S. Supreme Court Nos. 11-338 and 11-347

In a unanimous opinion issued Aug. 17, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that polluted run-off from logging roads is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. In Sept. 2011, both the timber industry and the State of Oregon filed petitions for certiorari requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court review the case. The Court accepted the case and oral argument was heard Dec. 3, 2012. On March 20, 2013, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit ruling.

 Clean Water Act

Issaquah Alps Trails Club and Save Squak v. Issaquah-Squak Mtn. RV Park LLC, Erickson Logging, Inc. and DNR

PCHB No. 13-069

In May 2013, WFLC appealed a 200 acre logging permit of forestland bordering Squak Mountain State Park near Issaquah, Washington. The forest contains mature trees, many older than 90 years, and recently restored salmon habitat. The landowner had planned to remove the timber and sell the land for development. In July 2013, a partnership between King County and The Trust for Public Land was formed to purchase the forestland for preservation as part of the county’s system of parks and open space.

Lewis Co. v. Growth Mngt Hearings Board and Friends of Mineral Lake

Thurston County Superior Court No. 11-2-02089-1

On July 6, 2012, Judge McPhee upheld the Growth Management Hearings Board's decision. Growth Management Act - Amendment to Lewis County's development regulations that allowed conversion of forestland to home sites was inconsistent with the County's Comprehensive Plan.

Sierra Club SFI non-conformance complaint against Weyerhaeuser

Complaint filed Oct. 1, 2009.

Complaint alleges Weyerhaeuser violated several of SFI’s environmental standards when it conducted logging and roadbuilding on extremely steep and unstable slopes

ForestEthics complaint against SFI filed with the Federal Trade Commission

Complaint filed Sept. 9, 2009.

Complaint alleges that SFI engages in deceptive and misleading national advertising

ForestEthics complaint against SFI filed with the Internal Revenue Service

Complaint filed Sept. 9, 2009.

Complaint reports SFI for potentially inappropriately using a tax-exempt “public charity” for funding, operating, and marketing its private forest certification label

CIC v. Salazar

U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 1:08-cv-1409-EGS

On June 30, 2011, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued its Revised Recovery Plan for the northern spotted owl. On Nov. 21, 2012, the Service published the final revised critical habitat rule.

Challenge to Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan and critical habitat designation

FSC v. USTR 

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 09-35985

Argued and submitted for decision Nov. 2, 2010; a memorandum affirming the District Court's decision was issued Dec. 1, 2010. The Court issued a mandate on Jan. 25, 2011, concluding litigation.

Miscellaneous Receipts Act, National Environmental Policy Act

CBD v. USTR

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 10-35102

On Sept. 16, 2011, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion finding that the USTR had improperly limited its search for documents and remanding the case to District Court. A settlement was reached in Feb. 2012. 

Freedom of Information Act

Skagit County v. State of Washington

Skagit County Superior Court No. 05-2-00246-1

Settlement reached and case dismissed in July 2009.

State Trust Lands, Water Quality
Alpine Lakes Protection Society, et al. v. Washington State Forest Practices Board

Washington State Supreme Court No. 79993-8

Appeal filed Aug. 2005; Court of Appeals issued decision Oct. 2006; Petition for Review filed Mar. 2007 (joined with ALPS v. Ecology, below); the Supreme Court denied review in Feb. 2008, terminating the case.

Cumulative Effects of Multiple Forest Practices, Forest Aesthetics

Alpine Lakes Protection Society, et al. v. Washington State Department of Ecology

Washington State Supreme Court No. 79993-8

Appeal filed July 2004; Court of Appeals issued decision Oct. 2006; Petition for Review filed Mar. 2007 (joined with ALPS v. FPB, above);  the Supreme Court denied review in Feb. 2008, terminating the case.

State Environmental Policy Act

The Mountaineers v. DNR and Plum Creek Timber Company

Thurston County Superior Court No. 02-2-00490-1

Stayed in Superior Court pending a resolution of ALPS v. FPB and ALPS v. Ecology; the Supreme Court denied review of the companion cases in Feb. 2008, terminating the case.

Cumulative Effects of Multiple Forest Practices, Forest Aesthetics

Seattle Audubon Society v. Norton

U. S. District Court, W.D. Washington, No. C05-1835

Case settled in Sept. 2006; Services agreed to do a Recovery Plan.

Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan

Washington Environmental Council v. Sutherland

King County Superior Court No. 04-2-26461-8SEA

Case settled in Mar. 2006.

Sustainable Harvest, Cumulative Effects, Northern Spotted Owl, Salmon

State Owned Forests v. Sutherland

Washington State Supreme Court No. 76431-0

The Court of Appeals issued a decision in 2004; the Supreme Court denied review in 2005, terminating the case.

Cumulative Effects of Multiple Forest Practices, State Trust Lands

Washington Environmental Council v. DNR and Weyerhaeuser Company

Forest Practices Appeals Board No. 01-007

 Decision issued April 2002.

River Channel Migration Zones

Kettle Range Conservation Group v. DNR and Stimson Lumber Company

Washington State Supreme Court No. 75358-0

The Court of Appeals issued a decision in 2003; the Supreme Court denied review in 2004, terminating this case.

Cumulative Effects of Multiple Forest Practices

NWEA v. Washington State Forest Practices Board

Washington State Supreme Court No. 70874-6

The Supreme Court issued a decision in April 2003.

Cumulative Effects of Multiple Forest Practices