|Naturally regenerating snag forest habitat that is prime foraging habitat for the endangered Pacific fisher and is being threatened by post-fire logging on the Stanislaus National Forest. (Rim Fire photo by Chad Hanson, John Muir Project.)
Earth Island's John Muir Project goes to court to enforce federal environmental laws in national forests, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), in order to ensure that federal public forestlands are managed to provide optimal ecological conditions to support and restore the full complement of native biodiversity in these forest ecosystems, which have been severely degraded and damaged by decades of commercial logging and suppression of wildland fires.
On August 10, 2023, the John Muir Project and several co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the United States Forest Service to stop logging of mature trees on approximately 13,000 acres of remote wildlands in the Big Bear area of San Bernardino National Forest. The case alleges that the agency approved this project in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, its own regulations, and the National Forest Management Act. The Law Offices of Babak Naficy is representing John Muir Project in this case.
On June 13, 2022, the John Muir Project filed a lawsuit against the United States National Park Service to stop a large, unprecedented logging project in Yosemite National Park. The logging project is being conducted without any environmental analysis or public input. The lawsuit alleges violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the National Park Service Organic Act. Tom Buchele of Earthrise Law Center is representing the John Muir Project in this case.
January 26, 2023: Case Update
Earth Island Institute files a reply brief in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
September 6, 2022: Case Update
Earth Island Insitute files a related complaint for injuctive and declaratory relief in response to defendants faliure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act within the required time and manner
August 16, 2022: In the News - Washington Post
California’s giant sequoias are burning up. Will logging save them?
July 30, 2022: In the News - New York Times
The Case Against Commercial Logging in Wildfire-Prone Forests
July 16, 2022: In the News - San Francisco Chronicle
California is desperate to stop mega-fires. But controversy rages over tree thinning
July 5, 2022: Press Release
Logging Halted in Yosemite National Park
On April 27, 2022, the John Muir Project, in coalition with environmental, business, and recreational organizations, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over its decision to allow commercial logging and vegetation removal atop Pine Mountain and Reyes Peak in Los Padres National Forest. The project area is located on ancestral lands of the Chumash, and is designated critical habitat for the endangered California condor. The lawsuit alleges violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, Roadless Area Conservation Rule, Endangered Species Act, and National Forest Management Act. Environmental Defense Center is representing the John Muir Project in this case.
On July 10, 2019, the John Muir Project, Los Padres Forestwatch, and Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its proposal to allow logging in a roadless area that contains as many as 50 California condor roosting sites. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges improper use of a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act and a violation of the Endangered Species Act. Justin Augustine of the Center for Biological Diversity is representing the John Muir Project in this case.
On July 9, 2019, the John Muir Project and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service alleging various claims under the Administrative Procedures Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The challenge relates to the agency's proposal to remove mostly live trees on over 9,000 acres in the Inyo National Forest, near Mammoth Lakes, California. Tom Buchele of EarthRise Law Center and Justin Augustine of the Center for Biological Diversity are representing the John Muir Project in this case.