Ninth Circuit Revives Fight Against Logging Plans in Forests Where Endangered Fishers Live

A Ninth Circuit panel ruled that a lower court erred when it declined to stop several logging operations in a portion of a California national forest that is home to the endangered fisher, a small weasel-like mammal whose populations have diminished due to hunting, logging, and other habitat encroachment. The appellate court ruled that the lower court should have granted a preliminary injunction to Unite the Parks, Earth Island Institute, and Sequoia Forestkeeper––wildlife advocacy groups dedicated to the conservation and recovery of the Pacific fisher in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Plaintiffs argued that defendants U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service failed to account for a new population count that was performed after the devastating wildfire seasons that may have even further reduced the population levels of the imperiled animal. The Ninth Circuit vacated the lower court decision to deny the preliminary injunction and remanded the case for consideration of plaintiffs’ request for preliminary injunction in light of the new population count.