United States District Court, D. Columbia
AMERICAN FOREST RESOURCE COUNCIL, CARPENTERS INDUSTRIAL
COUNCIL, DOUGLAS TIMBER OPERATORS, INC., C & D LUMBER CO.,
FRERES LUMBER CO., INC, SENECA SAWMILL COMPANY, STARFIRE
LUMBER CO., INC., SWANSON GROUP MFG, LLC, Plaintiffs: Mark C.
Rutzick, LEAD ATTORNEY, MARK C. RUTZICK, INCORPORATED, Oak
SALLY JEWELL, Secretary, Department of the Interior,
Defendant: Paul David Barker, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Land & Natural Resources Division,
Washington, DC; Stuart Campbell Gillespie, LEAD ATTORNEY,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC.
OPINION [Dkts. ## 16, 19]
J. LEON, United States District Judge.
the Court are cross-motions for summary judgment by
plaintiffs and defendant. Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. [Dkt #
16 (" Pls.' Mot." ), Def.'s Mot. for Summ.
J. [Dkt. # 19] (" Def.'s Mot." ). In these
motions, the parties dispute the lawfulness of the Bureau of
Land Management's (" BLM" ) decisions in May
and June 1995 adopting Resource Management Plans (" 1995
RMPs" ) for six BLM districts in Western Oregon. Upon
due consideration of the parties' pleadings, the relevant
law, and the entire record herein, I find that plaintiffs
lack standing to bring this suit and, accordingly,
plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. # 16] is
DENIED, defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. #
19] is GRANTED, and the case is DISMISSED.
brought suit against the Secretary of Interior challenging
BLM's approval of the 1995 RMPs that placed more than 70
percent of all lands subject to the Oregon and California
Railroad and Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands Act of 1937
(" O& C Act" ), 43U.S.C.§ 1181a, into reserve
classifications where no sustained yield timber harvest is
permitted. See Compl. ¶ ¶ 34-37, No.
14-368 [Dkt. # 1]. Plaintiffs allege violations of O& C Act,
43 U.S.C. § 1181a, the Federal Land Policy and
Management Act (FLPMA), 43 U.S.C.A. § 1701 Savings
Provision, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5
U.S.C. § § 701-706. See Compl. ¶ 1.
case is one of three separate actions currently before the
Court, at the summary judgment stage, involving challenges
related to timber sales in the Pacific Northwest and habitat
for the northern spotted owl. See Carpenters Industrial
Council, et al. v. Jewell, et al., No. 13-361 (filed on
March 21, 2013) (" CIC v. Jewell " );
Swanson Group Mfg., LLC, et al. v. Director, Bureau of
Land Management, No. 14-211 (filed on Feb. 13, 2014)
(" Swanson v. BLM' or " Swanson
II '); American Forest Resource Council, et al.
v. Jewell, No. 14-368 (filed on March 7, 2014) ("
AFRC v. Jewell " ). Prior to commencing these
three actions, many of the same plaintiffs brought suit in
Swanson Group Mfg., LLC, et al. v. Salazar, et al.,
No. 10-1843 (filed on Oct. 29, 2010) (" Swanson
I " ). In Swanson I, I granted
summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and found two
federal agency actions to be unlawful: (1) the failure to
offer for sale a declared amount of timber from two
western Oregon districts, and (2) the development and use of
an Owl Estimation Methodology. See Order and Mem.
Op., No. 10-1843 [Dkts. ## 58, 59]. Defendants appealed that
decision to our Circuit Court, which vacated the summary
judgment ruling on the grounds that the plaintiffs in that
case lacked standing, and, therefore, their challenges to
agency actions must be dismissed. See Swanson
Grp. Mfg. LLC v. Jewell, 790 F.3d 235, 238 (D.C. Cir.
light of the standing decision in Swanson I and the
significant overlap between the plaintiffs in that case and
the three above-referenced actions, I ordered the parties in
these three cases to show cause in writing why the cases
should not also be dismissed for lack of standing.
See Order to Show Cause, CIC v. Jewell, No.
13-361 [Dkt. # 82]; Swanson II, No. 14-211 [Dkt. #
28]; AFRC v. Jewell, No. 14-368 [Dkt. # 30]. In
response to the show cause orders, plaintiffs in each of the
three actions filed briefs accompanied by ten new
declarations. See CIC v. Jewell, No. 13-361 [Dkts.
## 84-1-84-11]; Swanson II, No. 14-211
[Dkts. ## 30-1-30-11]; AFRC v. Jewell, No. 14-368
[Dkt. # 32-1-32-11]. Defendants then filed a response in each
of the three cases. See CIC v. Jewell, No. 13-361
[Dkts. ## 88, 90]; Swanson II, No. 14-211 [Dkt.#31];
AFRC v. Jewell, No. 14-368 [Dkt. # 33].
judgment is appropriate when the pleadings and the record
demonstrate that " there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The
moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the
absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. See
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106
S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). In this case, where
cross-motions for summary judgment are at issue, the Court
draws all reasonable inferences regarding the assertions made
in a light favorable to the non-moving party. Union
Neighbors United, Inc. v. Jewell, 83 F.Supp.3d 280, 285
(D.D.C. 2015). The Court will " grant summary judgment
only if one of the moving parties is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law upon material facts that are not genuinely
disputed." Select Specialty Hosp. - Bloomington,
Inc. v. Sebelius, 774 F.Supp.2d 332, 338 (D.D.C. 2011).
Article III of the Constitution confines the jurisdiction of
the federal courts to actual 'Cases' and
'Controversies,' and . . . 'the doctrine of
standing serves to identify those disputes which are
appropriately resolved through the judicial process."
' Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417,
429-30, 118 S.Ct. 2091, 141 L.Ed.2d 393 (1998) (quoting
Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149, 155, 110 S.Ct.
1717, 109 L.Ed.2d 135 (1990)). Plaintiffs bear the burden of
demonstrating they have standing to pursue their claims.
SeeLujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504
U.S. 555, 561, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 119 L.Ed.2d 351 (1992). "
[T]he irreducible constitutional minimum of standing"
requires "  an injury in fact ... which is (a)
concrete and particularized, and (b) actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical, . . .  a causal ...