Y2U and Alliance for Wild Rockies file a lawsuit to stop construction of natural gas pipeline in SE Idaho

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April 20, 2020

Yellowstone to Uintas Connection and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed a lawsuit in Idaho federal district court today against the Forest Service  to challenge the decision to allow construction of the Crow Creek pipeline through five National Forest Inventoried Roadless Areas in southeast Idaho.

"The Crow Creek pipeline proposal would result in wildlife displacement and habitat fragmentation in the regionally-significant wildlife corridor between Yellowstone National Park and the Uintas,” said Jason Christensen, Director of Yellowstone to Uintas Connection. “The project analysis fails to seriously take into account wildlife habitat fragmentation, illegal Off Highway Vehicle activity related to the proposed pipeline route and possible pipeline malfunction.  Adding to that, the proposed mitigation measures to address the impacts are insufficient."

"The pipeline utility corridor will be, in actual effect, a permanent 18.2-mile motorized trail through five different National Forest Inventoried Roadless Areas and thus cause permanent vegetation removal,  increased sight-lines for poaching, increased noxious weed introductions, and abundant new opportunities for illegal motor vehicle use in perpetuity,”  Christensen explained.  “That means motorized vehicles will use this corridor in perpetuity to maintain and inspect the pipeline and remove vegetation from lands that would be designated as wilderness under the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act currently before the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

“We gave the Forest Service plenty of opportunity to address these serious legal problems with the project by sending them a 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue in January, and filing exhaustive public comments on the EIS before that," Mike Garrity of Alliance for Wild Rockies concluded.  “Unfortunately the Forest Service did not reconsider its decision and we are left with no choice but to take the steps necessary to bring the project in compliance with federal law for the sake of our public lands and wildlife – especially the plants and animals on the Endangered Species list.”

Learn more about this ongoing issue, Crow Creek Pipeline Project, and other work being done here: www.yellowstoneuintas.org/issues/science