Decker v. NEDC: The Supreme Court may not be the end of the (unregulated) forest road

Vol. 44 No. 3

Chris Carr is a partner and chair of the Environment and Energy group at Morrison & Foerster LLP. Shaye Diveley is a senior associate at the firm. They were counsel of record for Pacific Lumber Company in EPIC v. Pacific Lumber Co.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the United States has approximately 751 million acres of forest land, crisscrossed by hundreds of thousands of miles of roads. See 77 Fed. Reg. 30,473 (May 23, 2012). Productive, working forests depend on these roads. Typically, foresters have used best management practices to reduce erosion and protect water quality from stormwater discharges associated with road maintenance and use. In California, for example, there are on average 2.43 drainage features routing stormwater off or under each mile of forest road. This means that there are more than 107,000 forest road drainage features in California alone.

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