Nov. ’03:  Clients:  the John Muir Project, the Sequoia ForestKeeper, the Sierra Club, and Center for Biological Diversity Geographic focus: Sequoia NF (SNF), CA Project:  Field-based expert witness testimony on the postfire Burnt Ridge Timber Sale on the SNF. The SNF wrongly asserted that postfire logging would reduce erosion and sedimentation by increasing groundcover from logging slash and attempted to use this to get an “emergency exemption” allowing it to rapidly log the burned area without citizen review or input. Field conditions contradicted the SNF’s assertions, as documented by the photos and measurements submitted with the expert witness testimony,  including field measurements of groundcover( see photos ) in unlogged burned areas and in burned areas logged as part of roadside salvage. In granting the preliminary injunction against the SNF, the court order stated: “Defendants’ [SNF] showing of irreparable harm based on the potential for soil erosion if the proposed logging does not occur soon is undermined by the testimony of Jonathan J. Rhodes.”

 

Mar.’03-present.  Client: Oregon Natural Desert Association and Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center Geographic focus: Malheur National Forest (MNF), OR  Project: Field-based expert witness testimony on the effects of cattle grazing on the Wild and Scenic Malheur River segments and several other streams on the MNF in on-going litigation in two separate cases to protect these streams, and the ESA-listed salmonids in them, from continuing damage by cattle.  Photos of some of the cattle-caused damage can be seen here. The cases have had several twists and turns and are on-going.

 
July ’03 – Feb. ’05.  Client: Nez Perce Tribe (NPT) Geographic focus: Clearwater National Forest (CNF), ID Project: Expert witness testimony on the likely effects of the CNF’s N. Lochsa Face logging project on water quality, stream sedimentation, and imperiled salmonids.  Testimony also summarized the inadequacy of the CNF’s analysis and disclosure of these impacts. In Sept. ’05, the Federal District Court of ID found that the CNF had not properly analyzed the project’s impacts. The court also found that “…the FWS acted arbitrarily and capriciously in failing to conduct real analysis of the NLF Project to determine whether it poses jeopardy to the threatened bull trout species under ESA.”  The logging project was enjoined from going forward, pending rectification of the defects in future analyses of impacts.