Federal Court Rules Idaho Pipeline Challenge Can Proceed

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On March 8th, a federal court in Idaho ruled that a legal challenge to a natural gas pipeline can proceed. The lawsuit was filed by two grassroots conservation groups —  Yellowstone to Uintas Connection and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies — and it challenges the proposed Crow Creek Pipeline in southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming.  The proposed pipeline would permanently cut through five National Forest Inventoried Roadless Areas, which are areas with crucial habitat for a declining sage grouse population, as well as habitat for other endangered species such as grizzly bears, lynx, and wolverines.

There are exactly zero benefits to public lands or wildlife from this project.  This project is so inconsistent with the existing Forest Plan for these public lands that the Forest Service had to amend its Forest Plan for six different management prescriptions in order for the project to be lawful.  This site-specific amendment to change the management plan for the entire National Forest for the benefit of a private natural gas company is a classic example of what land-use planners call ‘spot zoning.’  That means giving one person or entity special treatment while expecting everyone else to follow the rules. In essence, the federal taxpayers who own these public lands are subsidizing the profit margin of a private natural gas company at the expense of the ecological integrity of their public lands and wildlife.

Read the full article.

More on the Crow Creek Pipeline.