November 22, 2019, Western Resources Legal Center — The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a last-ditch emergency injunction motion filed by Greater Hells Canyon Council & Oregon Wild seeking to halt the long-planned Lostine River Corridor Public Safety Project (“Lostine Safety Project”). The purpose of the Lostine Safety Project is to improve overall forest health, reduce risk of wildfire, and provide greater opportunity for emergency responders to help in the event of fire in the Corridor. Also, the Lostine Safety Project is considered an environmental justice project.
WRLC represents Wallowa County, who intervened in the lawsuit to support the safety and economic aspects of the Lostine Safety Project.
Greater Hells Canyon Council & Oregon Wild filed hundreds of pages of new documents and declarations claiming the Lostine Safety Project is illegal and not truly focused on public safety. The 9th Circuit denied the emergency injunction without opinion. The case is currently set for oral argument on the merits before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 12th.
This case, and plaintiffs’ numerous attempts to halt every aspect of the Lostine Safety Project by relentless motions illustrates the extremes some special interest groups will go to in attempting to halt even valid public safety projects under the guise of “environmental protection.”