The American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) announced today that 29 members of the U.S. Congress and six organizations have filed amicus curiae briefs in support of AFRC’s and the Association of O&C Counties’ (AOCC) joint petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.
AFRC and AOCC are asking the Court to review the Obama-era expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2016 Resource Management Plans (2016 RMPs) for Western Oregon O&C lands. The case poses legal questions of national interest around Executive Branch overreach and the use of the Antiquities Act to nullify Congressional intent on federal lands.
“Momentum is building for the U.S. Supreme Court to answer a fundamental question: who makes the laws regarding federal land management, Congress or the Executive Branch?” said AFRC President, Travis Joseph. “The illegal expansion of this national monument on O&C lands and the 2016 RMPs – Executive decisions that directly undermine Congressional action on the same lands – set a dangerous precedent for every federal land management law that Congress has approved.
“We are building support nationally because many Americans and their elected representatives are concerned about the implications of Presidents having unfettered authority to indefinitely suspend or cancel the operation of federal laws through the Antiquities Act proclamations and other executive actions. We thank Congressman Cliff Bentz for his leadership on the Congressional amicus brief, and for bringing awareness to these important issues on Capitol Hill.”
The O&C Act requires the BLM to manage O&C lands for permanent forest production on the basis of sustained-yield, meaning that each year BLM is to harvest the volume of timber that is grown by the forest during the same year so that harvest levels can be sustained in perpetuity. In the final days of his presidency in 2017, President Obama signed a proclamation expanding the CSNM by 48,000 acres under the Antiquities Act, most of which overlapped with O&C lands.
With the stroke of a pen, and with no environmental analysis or public process, President Obama nullified a federal law and directed the BLM to ignore Congressional direction on how to manage the O&C lands in Southwest Oregon. The Obama Administration also imposed new RMPs in 2016, governing the 2.6 million acres of O&C lands, which prohibited sustained-yield timber harvests on 80% of the total O&C land base, despite the O&C Act requiring all O&C lands to be managed for that purpose.
Amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) briefs are written by individuals or groups who are not directly involved in a legal case but have expertise or insight to offer a court to assist in making its decision. Those joining AFRC and AOCC in asking the Court to review AFRC v. United States include:
Members of Congress (Brief)
U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
U.S. Senator Steve Daines
U.S. Senator James Risch
U.S. Representative Andy Biggs
U.S. Representative Cliff Bentz
U.S. Representative Ken Buck
U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert
U.S. Representative Ken Calvert
U.S. Representative Lori Chavez-DeRemer
U.S. Representative Ben Cline
U.S. Representative Eli Crane
U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann
U.S. Representative Russ Fulcher
U.S. Representative Harriet M. Hageman
U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn
U.S. Representative Doug LaMalfa
U.S. Representative Tom McClintock
U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers
U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks
U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse
U.S. Representative Scott Perry
U.S. Representative John Rose
U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale
U.S. Representative Pete Stauber
U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson
U.S. Representative Tom Tiffany
U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman
U.S. Representative Derrick Van Orden
U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke
National Association of Home Builders (Brief)
Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (Brief)
Pacific Legal Foundation (Brief)
Roseburg Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business (Brief)
Additional background on the case can be found here.
About the American Forest Resource Council
AFRC is a regional trade association representing over 50 forest product businesses and forest landowners whose purpose is to advocate for sustained yield timber harvests on public timberlands throughout the West to enhance forest health and resistance to fire, insects, and disease. We do this by promoting active management to attain productive public forests, protect adjoining private forests, and assure community stability. We work to improve federal and state laws, regulations, policies, and decisions regarding access to and management of public forest lands and protection of all forest lands. AFRC strongly believes that healthy managed forests are essential to the integrity of both ecosystems and communities. For more information, visit amforest.org
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