By Justin Harkins
In Karuk Tribe v. USFS, the Ninth Circuit overturned its own panel’s prior ruling that the Forest Service was not required to consult with biological agencies pursuant to ESA standards when reviewing an NOI filed by a recreational miner. The Court held, instead, that the Forest Service’s decision to approve an NOI constitutes “agency action” sufficient to trigger an ESA biological assessment. The ruling provides an exception to the earlier rule that inaction cannot be considered action.
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