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Strengthening Protections for Our Nation's Forests

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Sandwick

What's at Stake

The regulations run counter to the National Forest Management Act, which was passed in reaction to rampant overharvesting of commercial timber from the national forests, especially through clearcutting.

Case Overview

In 2007, Earthjustice won its challenge to the Bush administration's 2005 revision of the National Forest Management Act planning regulations, which govern management of the 193-million-acre National Forest System.

In response to our win, the Forest Service issued revised regulations. Unfortunately, the revised regulations are virtually the same as the regulations that the court invalidated, and the process by which they were adopted suffers from the same legal infirmities as the 2005 revision.

Once again the regulations run counter to the National Forest Management Act, which was passed in 1976 in reaction to rampant overharvesting of commercial timber from the national forests, especially through clearcutting. The Act was expressly intended to reduce the Forest Service's discretion in managing the national forests, placing limits on timber harvesting and promoting the protection of other resources, including wildlife and native plants, watersheds, and recreation, while the revised regulations eliminate precisely those limits and protections.

Case Updates

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