PCFFAPacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
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(41) Arguably, PCFFA was not really as much about ensuring that the adverse effects of timber sales and roads on the salmonids were fully disclosed as it was about enforcing implementation of the NFP's ACS at multiple scales (and perhaps guaranteeing disclosure of impacts on federal lands at specific scales).
While other analysts have examined Ninth Circuit holdings with respect to the cumulative impacts of Northwest logging practices, (43) this chapter focuses on the implications of the PCFFA decisions with respect to logging's adverse cumulative effects on protected species and the legal tools available to environmentalists challenging such adverse effects in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
In PCFFA I, the environmentalists challenged the four site-specific BiOps on several grounds.
(129) In PCFFA II, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court with respect to the temporal, spatial, and private lands claims, but reversed the court with respect to the alleged riparian reserve violations.
(139) In PCFFA II, the court noted that the Northwest Forest Plan's primary mission is to prevent degradation and restore habitat over large scales and that this mission is unachievable if agencies ignore "the cumulative effect of individual projects on small tributaries within watersheds." (140)
In PCFFA I, the district court held that NMFS's conclusion that timber sales within riparian reserves would not violate ACS standards was arbitrary and capricious.
In PCFFA I and PCFFA II, both courts rejected the plaintiffs' claims concerning cumulative impacts of degradation on nonfederal land.
The PCFFA litigation is unique because environmentalists challenged NMFS's biological opinions, whereas litigation concerning cumulative impacts analyses generally arises when environmentalism challenge the EA/FONSI, the EIS, or the forest planning documents required of the land management agencies.
In PCFFA, environmentalists were concerned about multiple sales and the roadbuilding accompanying these sales.
In addition to PCFFA, four other cases illustrate these environmental successes in the Ninth Circuit: Sierra Club v.
USFS (Shenandoah I) (210) echoes the reasoning though not the result of PCFFA II.
As in PCFFA and almost universally, courts have refused to require agencies to include nonfederal activities in their cumulative impacts analyses.