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Case Summary Citation

High Country Conservation Advocates v. United States Forest Service, 52 F. Supp. 3d 1174 (D. Colo. 2014)

Abstract

High Country Conservation Advocates v. United States Forest Service concerns the United States Forest Service’s and the Bureau of Land Management’s authorizations of on-the-ground mining exploration activities in the Sunset Roadless Area of western Colorado. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado’s holding has far-reaching consequences for federal agencies’ analysis and disclosure of impacts on the climate under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). In addition to bolstering the Plaintiffs’ recent successes at establishing legal standing to challenge federal agencies’ disclosures and analyses of impacts on the climate under NEPA, High Country is the first case to set-aside a federal agency’s decision as arbitrary and capricious for its failure to adequately consider impacts on the climate. It is also the first case to fully reject the perfect substitution argument commonly used by federal agencies to describe the climate-related impacts of coal extraction.

 

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