Murphy seeks leave to supplement complaint; Forest Service seeks to dismiss action

Plaintiff Dennis Murphy is seeking leave to file a supplemental complaint to add new claims that the Forest Service's decision to implement just the first phase of the Upper Echo Lake Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project violates NEPA.

Defendants moved to dismiss all plaintiff's existing claims as moot.  Their motion is based on their own action withdrawing the project authorization and the theory that federal agencies can violate the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to conduct mandated environmental review of a project, implement the project, then declare the project authorization withdrawn to avoid a judicial determination that they have violated federal law.  Dr. Murphy filed an opposition to the motion.

Meanwhile, Defendants have littered the project area with slash piles, creating new fire risk.

In some cases, the Forest Service's has created fuel ladders where they did not exist before.

At the same time, the Forest Service has yet to respond to a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act that is now more than a year old and a request for correction under the Information Quality Act that is months old.  The agency had committed in writing to respond to the latter on September 12, 2015.


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