Case Summary Citation

Montana Wildlife Federation v. Bernhardt, No. CV-18-69-GF-BMM, 2020 WL 2615631, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90571 (D. Mont. May 22) appeal docketed, No. 20-35658 (9th Cir. July 22, 2020)


A federal court in Montana vacated the lease sale of several large oil and gas developments in Montana and Wyoming because BLM’s revised guidance documents, which facilitated the lease sales, failed to prioritize development outside of sage-grouse habitat, as required by BLM land use plans. BLM adopted the prioritization requirement in 2015 as part of an effort to prevent the sage-grouse from being listed under the Endangered Species Act. The court held BLM violated the Federal Land Policy and Management Act when it essentially eliminated the prioritization requirement and approved the lease sales without properly amending the land use plans.



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