Victory scored in Freemont-Winema Forest decision

By Dunn, Carney, Allen, Higgins & TongueDunn Carney Works with the Forest Service to Defeat An Attempt to Enjoin Grazing On Fremont-Winema Forest

Late on June 29, 2009, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke denied an attempt by Center for Biological Diversity, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, and Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center (collectively “CBD”) to halt grazing on the Antelope Allotment in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Together with the Forest Service, grazing permit holders Marjorie and Lawrence Iverson opposed the CBD’s lawsuit. The Iversons asserted that an injunction was unnecessary given their work to protect the Oregon spotted frog – the species of concern to CBD – and that other factors were likely to have caused declining spotted frog numbers.

Before the CBD filed its lawsuit, the Iversons had already begun to undertake actions to protect the Oregon spotted frog on their private land. Then, during the summer of 2008, they worked together with the Forest Service to build a riparian fence, agreed to reduce cattle numbers, and made other changes on the forest grazing allotment. “The science we have reviewed with the federal agencies seems to say that the spotted frog is impacted by many things, not just grazing, and that a multi-year drought is the likely cause for the frog’s decline in this location,” said Marjorie Iverson. When managed appropriately, grazing can be helpful to the spotted frog.

The CBD can request that the decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Clarke be reviewed by a district court judge. Dunn Carney attorneys for the Iversons, Kate Moore and Elizabeth Howard, said that the CBD has until July 17, 2009 to file objections to Judge Clarke’s recommendations.

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