OHIO FORESTRY ASSOCIATION, INC.V. SIERRA CLUB

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
97-16
Petitioner 
Ohio Forestry Association, Inc.
Respondent 
Sierra Club
Advocates
(Department of Justice, argued the cause for the federal respondents supporting the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the private respondents)
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Term:
Facts of the Case 

Pursuant to the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA), the United States Forest Service developed a Land and Resource Management Plan for Ohio's Wayne National Forest. The Plan sets logging goals, selects the areas suited to timber production, and determines which probable methods of timber harvest are appropriate, but it does not itself authorize the cutting of any trees. Ultimately, the Sierra Club filed suit, alleging that erroneous analysis leads the Plan wrongly to favor logging and clearcutting. The District Court granted the Forest Service summary judgment, finding that the Forest Service had acted lawfully in making the various challenged determinations. In reversing, the Court of Appeals, finding both that the Sierra Club had standing to bring suit, and that since the suit was "ripe for review," there was no need to wait "until a site-specific action occurs," held that the Plan improperly favored clearcutting and therefore violated the NFMA.

Question 

Does the United States Forest Service's Land and Resource Management Plan for Ohio's Wayne National Forest present a controversy that is justiciable? If so, does the Plan conform to statutory and regulatory requirements for a forest plan?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Ohio Forestry Association, Inc.v. Sierra Club, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision:

No. In a unanimous opinion delivered by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the Court held that the controversy is not yet ripe for judicial review. Justice Breyer wore for the Court that "'withhold court consideration' at present will not cause the parties significant 'hardship.'" "[B]efore the Forest Service can permit logging, it must focus upon a particular site, propose a specific harvesting method, prepare an environmental review, permit the public an opportunity to be heard, and (if challenged) justify the proposal in court," continued Justice Breyer, "[t]he Sierra Club thus will have ample opportunity later to bring its legal challenge at a time when harm is more imminent and more certain."

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OHIO FORESTRY ASSOCIATION, INC.V. SIERRA CLUB. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 20 June 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_16>.
OHIO FORESTRY ASSOCIATION, INC.V. SIERRA CLUB, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_16 (last visited June 20, 2014).
"OHIO FORESTRY ASSOCIATION, INC.V. SIERRA CLUB," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed June 20, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_16.