Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project     March 2000

Requirements or Authority for New Long-term Management Direction -

Requirements or authority for permanent ecosystem-based management direction have come from: directives; commitments made through interim direction; and court orders including Pacific Rivers Council vs. Thomas.

Commitments Made Through Interim Direction -

Three separate interim management strategies apply to much of the project area. Decisions made as a result of the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project will replace that direction. Those strategies and their commitments for the project are:

Related Litigation -

There have been an increasing number of appeals and lawsuits over federal land management decisions, plans, and activities. Several legal cases have influenced the decision to plan at the broad-scale to address the issues such as species viability, biodiversity, and related cumulative effects..

In the case Prairie Woods Products et. al. vs. Glickman et. al. Judge Hogan's order clearly contemplates the completion of long-term strategies to replace the Eastside Screens and PACFISH. In his ruling, Hogan stated, "There is no evidence in the record that the Forest Service abused its discretion or acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner by taking into account the fact that the interim screens and PACFISH were slated for replacement by the long-term Interior Columbia River Basin strategies or by failing to consider the impacts of such long-term strategies."

In the case Friends of the Wild Swan et. al. vs. U.S. Forest Service et. al. Judge Jones upheld less thorough viability analyses in ruling that the Forest Service intended PACFISH and INFISH to be short-term, interim strategies and while working on a more a permanent long-term strategy, the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project.

Biological Opinions -

Biological Opinions on the Land and Resource Management Plans as amended by PACFISH and INFISH provide reasonable and prudent measures, implementing terms and conditions and conservation recommendations. These Endangered Species Act requirements and recommendations, which are applicable to significant portions of the project area, are included in Alternative S1, Chapter 3, as part of the no-action alternative.