Mogollon Rim Followup Case

Mogollon Rim Followup Case

Current Status:
PENDING

Case Title:
Case 2:20-cv-00328-GMS

Staff attorney(s):
Laurie Rule
Andrew Missel

Client(s):

Neighbors of the Mogollon Rim

To Protect:

Special Places

Wildlife

States:
Arizona

Case Information:

May 24, 2021 Advocates for the West has filed a reply brief in support of our preliminary injunction motion to stop cattle grazing this summer in a pristine corner of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.

April 29, 2021 Advocates for the West has filed a preliminary injunction motion to stop cattle grazing this summer in a pristine corner of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. The Forest Service’s decision to allow grazing this year despite the pendency of our case is indefensible and would cause irreparable harm to an area beloved by hikers, swimmers, and fishermen. The decision would also harm local communities who cherish their corner of the Forest as a quiet place to enjoy nature.

December 11, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a reply brief arguing that the US Forest Service’s “new” management practices do not differ substantially from recent practices, and thus Federal Defendants cannot rely on them to explain why dramatically increasing the amount of grazing on the Bar X and opening up areas long closed to grazing will avoid affecting the threatened Mexican spotted owl and move the area towards “desired conditions.”

October 2, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a motion for summary judgment. Our suit alleges that the Forest Service committed a wide range of administrative law errors when deciding to expand and re-open grazing on the Bar X allotment.

February 12, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the Forest Service over its inadequate NEPA and ESA analysis for a new grazing decision affecting the Bar X grazing allotment, just below Arizona’s scenic Mogollon Rim. The Forest Service has decided to expand grazing on the allotment and reopen areas that have been closed to grazing since the late 70s. These areas were closed after severe overgrazing destroyed soil and vegetation and displaced wildlife such as deer, elk, and turkeys. The closures allowed these species to return in strong numbers and the vegetation to flourish.

2018 – We sued and won over the Forest Service’s reopening of these grazing areas, with the agency agreeing to stay within permit limits until it completed a NEPA analysis. Unfortunately, the Forest Service’s analysis does not adequately address significant effects to soils, vegetation, and wildlife, nor does it take into account the severe effects of grazing on the well-being of nearby communities. The analysis also seriously understates the impacts to ESA-listed species such as the Mexican spotted owl and the narrow-headed gartersnake.