Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lawsuit against Mark Rey and the USFS is dismissed

From a story at Montana's News Station.com

A lawsuit that forced the nation's top forestry official to apologize in a Missoula courtroom is over. The lawsuit by Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics was filed in 2003, and charged the U.S. Forest Service with violating federal law by indiscriminately dropping retardant on forest fires.

Two weeks ago that case reached a climax when Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey appeared before federal judge Donald Molloy, and faced a possible contempt of court citation.

Molloy was angry that the Forest Service missed deadlines for delivering environmental review documents to him, and for generally taking more time than he liked. Ultimately he decided not to find Rey or the Forest Service in contempt, but not before Rey and other agency officials apologized multiple times.

Now, the case is done. Molloy signed an order last Wednesday dismissing the lawsuit. The judge wrote that the Forest Service has complied with the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, and so there's nothing left to decide.

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