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Federal judge strikes down Forest Service regulations limiting public comment

[JURIST] US District Judge Donald Molloy [official profile] has issued an injunction [PDF text] striking down three US Forest Service [official website] regulations that would have limited the public's ability to comment on proposed rules. The injunction came in response to plaintiff and defendant motions for summary judgment and follows an order [PDF text] issued last month which declared the regulations invalid under the 1992 Forest Service Decisionmaking & Appeals Reform Act [PDF text]. The March order did not dispose of the case, however, as Molloy ordered the plaintiffs to submit an amended complaint.

Molloy struck down regulations that would have cut off the right to challenge Forest Service projects unless objections were raised while the project was under consideration; allowed the Secretary of Agriculture [official website] or his undersecretary to make certain forest management decisions without public comment; and exempted certain Forest Service programs from environmental analysis restrictions. AP has more.

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