4(d)(1) broad management discretion previously noted when he takes actions within the Wilderness Areas for the benefit of outside commercial and other private interests. This question must be answered in the negative because in a situation like this the Secretary is not managing the wilderness but acting contrary to wilderness policy for the benefit of outsiders.
A fair reading of the Wilderness Act places a burden on the Secretary affirmatively to justify his actions under these circumstances. Where such actions are shown to contravene wilderness values guaranteed by the Wilderness Act, as they do here, then the Secretary must, when challenged, justify them by demonstrating they are necessary to effectively control the threatened outside harm that prompts the action being taken. Here the Secretary has not addressed this affirmative burden.
Plaintiffs have amply demonstrated that the Southern Pine Beetle program as carried out in these three Wilderness Areas was wholly antithetical to the wilderness policy established by Congress.
The destruction of many acres of pine trees by chain sawing, and chemical spraying accompanied by noise and personnel in a continuing process unlimited in scope, is hardly consonant with preservation and protection of these areas in their natural state. These are delicate, sensitive places where the often mysterious and unpredictable process of nature were to be preserved for the study and enjoyment of mankind. Congress directed that man must tread lightly in these areas, in awe and with respect. Ruthless intrusion in disregard for these values was condemned as a matter of national policy. While many facts remain unclear, the record before the Court suggests that within Wilderness Areas, as mature pines are destroyed by the beetle there will be less and less possibility of outbreaks infecting neighboring areas. Only a clear necessity for upsetting the equilibrium of the ecology could justify this highly injurious, semi-experimental venture of limited effectiveness.
The Secretary has failed to demonstrate that the Southern Pine Beetle program as carried out in the three Wilderness Areas is necessary to control the presence of that pest in neighboring pine forests or that it has in any way been more than marginally effective in doing so. There is little evidence relating to the effect of the program on the beetle's tendency, if any, to move out of the Wilderness Areas. Conversely, the Court has not received any material indicating whether adjacent pine land, which has been already infected by the beetle, could be managed with less effective controls in the absence of the accompanying Wilderness authority. Nor is the Secretary's weighing of alternatives apparent. The record strongly suggests that the beetle cannot be irradicated and the solution of the problem is long-term, dependent for its ultimate efficacy upon further research and scientific study.
While the Secretary's program covers the South, this particular case only concerns a limited aspect. Serious problems exist in other southern regions and indeed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has before it a challenge to the Southern Pine Beetle program as it affects five Wilderness Areas in Texas, see Sierra Club v. Lyng, No. L-85-69-CA (E.D. Tex.). That Court has also been awaiting the EIS. The problems in different regions in all probability vary and what may be a necessity in one Wilderness Area, or effective there, may not be so in another. The very generality of the Secretary's approach suggests inadequate sensitivity to his wilderness duties.
Because this Court's analysis raises issues not fully addressed in the papers and because it suggests a need to particularize any approach to the Southern Pine Beetle program in terms of each Wilderness Area, area by area, the Court has concluded that final resolution of the motion can most appropriately await the EIS. The Court directs the parties to file further papers in support of or opposition to the motion within 30 days of the publication of the final EIS with emphasis upon the Secretary's burdens as set out herein in the light of whatever Southern Pine Beetle program emerges in the EIS. In the meantime, the preliminary injunction remains in effect and final action on the motion will be held in abeyance. An appropriate Order is filed herewith.
Upon consideration of plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment; the briefs, supplemental briefs, affidavits and documents filed; and full argument by the parties, it is hereby
ORDERED that final decision of the motion is deferred until after publication of the final Environmental Impact Statement on the Southern Pine Beetle program challenged in this case; and it is further
ORDERED that the parties file further papers on the motion within 30 days of the publication of that document with emphasis on the Secretary of Agriculture's burdens in justifying the program, as explicated in the accompanying memorandum filed herewith; and it is further
ORDERED that pending final decision of the motion the preliminary injunction entered by this Court on July 31, 1985 shall remain in effect.