School navigation

Law Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (PEAC)

Win for Wallowa-Whitman

July 05, 2012

  • Photo credit: USFS

On June 29, federal district judge Michael Simon issued a 59-page opinion halting the spraying of herbicides in Oregon’s beautiful Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. PEAC attorney Tom Buchele represented the League of Wilderness Defenders/Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project in the case, with the help of PEAC clinic students. The plaintiffs objected to the US Forest Service’s plan to heavily spray herbicides in an attempt to control invasive plant species. The judge ruled that the Forest Service failed to take into account the cumulative impacts of the proposed plan in its environmental impact statement.

The ruling sets an important precedent for projects planning to spray herbicides on public lands. However, the judge ruled in favor of the Forest Service on several arguments and an appeal is possible.

In the media:

“Partial win in challenge to fed herbicide project” - Courthouse News Service

“Judge halts USFS herbicide plan in National Forest” - Law360

“Judge blocks effort to spray invasive weeds” - Capital Press