Western Watersheds Project has successfully settled litigation brought against the Bureau of Land Management for its unlawful use of Categorical Exclusions (CEs) to authorizing grazing, vegetation management and fuels reduction projects. BLM had used, and continues to use, Categorical Exclusions to avoid conducting appropriate environmental analysis of the impact its actions will have to the environment. As part of the stipulated agreement, the Bureau of Land Management will halt its use of CEs for vegetation management, fuels reduction, and livestock grazing across the entire country and voluntarily withdraw over 15 previous decisions implemented under an CE.
A. The Director of the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) will direct all BLM offices to permanently discontinue use of the 2003 Fuels Reduction Categorical Exclusion (“CE”), the 2007 Vegetation Management CE, and the 2007 Grazing Permit Issuance CE.
B. Any decision by BLM or the Department of the Interior to remove, modify, revise or re-issue the three CEs, referenced above, will follow the requirements of 40 C.F.R. §1507.3 (including prior public notice and comment).
C. BLM will withdraw seven grazing decisions relying on the Grazing Permit Issuance CE in the Four Rivers Field Office of Idaho: the Armacost, Boyd, Deer Creek, East Pine Creek, Gambril, North Fork, and West Pine Creek allotments; and eight grazing decisions relying on the Grazing Permit Issuance CE in the Ely District Office of Nevada: the South Butte/South Butte Seeding, Haggerty Wash, Ruby Valley/Maverick Springs/Horse Haven, Schellbourne, Cave Valley Ranch, Railroad Pass, Moorman Ranch and Six Mile Ranch allotments.